Can brilliant marketing beat superior engineering? If you meet someone who advocates this, I think you may have just met a sales consultant who wants to sell you a bridge.
And further down:
If you believe that marketing beats engineering, talk to some of the Madison avenue folks who tried to defend the railroads and the steamships against air travel.
Well, I suppose it depends on the full definition of "better". IMNSHO, Smalltalk is vastly better than Java. However, Java is (mostly) free, and it has the advantage of being similar (syntactically) to C and C++. Thus, in engineering terms, Java is what you might call an 80% solution that counts as "good enough" for a lot of people. And yes - good marketing around an 80% solution will beat lesser marketing around a 95% solution every day of the week.