Not to hijack this thread, but this comment brings up an observation and current frustration of mine. I am in the corporate world for the first time (for the last 15 months) and it appears that there is a lot of decision making that occurs outside of the 'what is the best thing for the product/company' paradigm.
I see two things that frequently occur in the corporate executive ranks. The first, what is best fo me and my career (or to keep my job) is probably the most frequent. Frankly, it makes me crazy. When I was running a consultancy, I very much appreciated passion. Even more, I appreciated employees that could opperate as if they did not need this job. Making the right decision for the right reason is extraordinarily important and seems to be less prevelent in larger corporations - though I have found designers and engineers more likely to be focused on the product/company needs than their own careers.
Secondly, there is a tendancy (mostly higher up the corporate food chain) to make decisions based on someone elses success or failure. Notice the proliferation of books such as 'Good to Great'. While these are fun and interesting, not recipes for fixing 'your' company. Pfeffer/Sutton make a rational case for this in their excellent book 'Hard Facts, Dangerous Hlaf Truths...'.
I am curious if I am seeing syndromes unique to my environment or if this is common. Call me wide eyed... but I had no idea 18 months ago that this was such a hurdle in trying to make products great.