Investment – (1) the act of investing; laying out money or capital in an enterprise with the expectation of profit; (2) the commitment of something other than money (time, energy, or effort) to a project with the expectation of some worthwhile result (source: Google Define)
The term investment is used an awful lot in capitalist and capitalist-like economies. In fact, I would say the act of investing is one of the single-most defining characteristics of the capitalist system, the modern depth of which is not properly conveyed in the above definitions. Nowadays an investment is not simply a handing over of money; it is a show of faith, of belief in an idea, of trust in payback with greater returns. Failure to return on investment has social consequences in capitalist-based societies: it can demonstrate an untrustworthy character, a failed idea, or maybe simply a right idea at the wrong time. But the inherent risk of the investment is (or at least should be) understood by both parties, as no investment is a sure-thing, ever. The trick with investing is that oftentimes the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.
There are other side affects that come about as a result of an investment culture. An increased sense of accountability, and the notion that accountability can actually be profitable. Being able to prove that should something fail the reason will be know, accounted for, and taken into consideration in the future, helps secure continued investment. The culture adopts the idea that time and effort have economic value. Whether it be in the form of currency or clout or karma, your time means something to someone else and therefore has value. I am of the opinion that these effects, accountability, value of time and ideas, acknowledgement of risk for reward, all contribute to a modern successful society.
Development provides none of these things. In fact, it seems to me that development is the antithesis of investment. Mind you, there is a caveat to this statement: the term development exists at a much more abstract level of investment. I will try to clarify for the sake of posterity: Development through goodwill is failing to provide the benefits of development through investment. Development through goodwill is best represented by NGOs and charities bringing over free goods and services with little expectation of return. Expecting nothing in return has the negative side affects of removing accountability from transactions. Good ideas are no longer worthwhile because rewards go to everyone, not just the best, so why bother thinking in the first place? Whereas development through investment raises up the top with the hopes of bringing up the bottom, development through goodwill brings up the bottom, but the top has nowhere to go.