...U.S. airline companies serve millions of passengers and create hundreds of billions of dollars of value each year. But in 2012, when the average airfare each way was $178, the airlines made only 37 cents per passenger trip. Compare them to Google, which creates less value but captures far more. Google brought in $50 billion in 2012 (versus $160 billion for the airlines), but it kept 21% of those revenues as profits—more than 100 times the airline industry's profit margin that year. Google makes so much money that it is now worth three times more than every U.S. airline combined.
Airline competition is so intense that firms capture only 1% of the value that they create. Google has far less competition and is able to capture 20% of the value that they create. 20% of their smaller pie is worth way more than 1% of the airlines' larger pie.
MAXIM: Creating value is only the first step. You also have to figure out how to capture it.