This is a great article on the value of dsign and why it’s a bottom dollar business issue. I think Apple’s success has highlighted this point for most of the business world, but there were/are others ofcourse – Nike, Dyson, IBM, etc..
Some interesting quotes:
“Apple’s rise offers a few important lessons about today’s connection between design and business. The easiest is that design allows you to stoke consumer lust–and demand higher prices as a result.”
“When designers lack influence, superb products become almost impossible. Good designs seldom stay good for very long if they must navigate a gauntlet of corporate approval.”
“When something has been approved by everyone, it may be loved by none.”