The key to any successful company is synergy. For many corporations, their operation is divided into two main tasks:
- Create the Product
- Sell the Product
The conflict arises when the two halves have to work together. Marketeers view engineers as socially inept nerds. Engineers view marketeers as technologically ignorant charlatans. But somehow, the products have to be made for the customer, and the two factions have to work through their grievances. Heaven help you if you get the big wigs involved.
This is not to say one segment is more vital than the other. Truth in Television that many companies have gone under because they had great products but couldn't find the right customers, or oversold a shoddy product.
Of course, everyone hates Management.
- Dilbert daily illustrates the eternal conflict between the dorky and misanthropic Engineers against the technologically illiterate Marketeers.
- The Discworld novel Going Postal pits the Board of the clacks company against the lone engineer left, Mr. Pony. The Board wins the battles but Mr. Pony gets the reader's sympathy, as he's actually trying to make the clacks work with a minimum of bloodshed, while the Board (especially Reacher Gilt) is only interested in squeezing it for as much money as it's worth. Thanks to the protagonist, the entire Board ends up arrested for embezzlement while Mr. Pony is left standing.
- A variation shows up in The Martian, between the engineers and the public relations team: the engineers want to try to get another mission to Mars, but the public relations team points out that seeing Mark Watney's dead body on the surface of Mars might cool public opinion. This conflict is quickly dropped when Mark Watney's still-alive status is confirmed.
- A large number of companies in the Dot-Com Bubble had accrued massive amounts of investment capital without solid products to rely on.