Jon, to me it looks that you are contradicting yourself. Both startups and the corner store are businesses. And as such, scale matters. RoI matters. Sustainable business with high RoI is better than an unsustainable or the one that consistently barely breaks even. At least from the outsider point of view.
From inside — “shareholder value” is what determines how good that business is. Whatever those shareholders value — money, goodness, ecology, etc. As long as a business is sustainable and provides this value to them — it is a good business. And this is where the corner store might be even better than the startup.
Above is my own #opinion. As well as everything that I write :)