The giant multinational can start a project knowing that it will take years to pay off.
The struggling freelancer might be willing to invest a few days.
Venture capital, particularly for web companies, mostly changes the time horizon. It means that the bootstrapping entrepreneur can make longer term investments, building assets that scale instead of cashing them in daily.
Goverments do some of their best work when they take on projects with time horizons that would frighten away even large companies. You're going to wait how long for that bridge to pay off?
One interesting side effect of going public is that companies that use venture capital to lengthen their time horizon suddenly (in just one day) have to switch gears to a time horizon that's measured in days or quarters.
And one useful note: if you're having trouble selling/working with or for an organization, it might be because you don't understand each other's time frame.