Most people don’t have great taste. (And they don’t care, so it doesn’t matter to them.) They usually like tasteful, well-designed products, but often don’t recognize why, or care more about other factors when making buying decisions.
People who naturally recognize tasteful, well-designed products are a small subset of the population. But people who can create them are a much smaller subset.
Taste in product creation overlaps a lot with design: doing it well requires it to be valued, rewarded, and embedded in the company’s culture and upper leadership. If it’s not, great taste can’t guide product decisions, and great designers leave.
No amount of money, and no small amount of time, can buy taste.
[I’m not sure I quite agree with the “People who naturally recognize tasteful, well-designed products are a small subset of the population” line. I think the subset is those who *think* about the design, rather than the more common, “yeah, that works, yeah, I like it” intuitive understanding majority. Since taste is the ability to discern and consider the differences rather than intuit them… The argument here is simple, most people would gravitate toward a better a better design, but they let a whole slew of other factors (what they’ve been told and by whom, and their own biases of many years etc) get in the way. Remove some of this, and the design that works, one that provides a good experience, every time.]