Who's to blame for bad design?

My alarm clock is a quirky old thang. It's a Sony "Dream Machine" and, when I first got it, it took me something like three days to figure out how it worked. That's because each button as two or three functions, depending upon context and what other buttons you're pushing at the time. I've had the thing for years now. And I've learned through autonomic training how to set an alarm and even change the alarm time.

Still, you'd think that one of the most successful consumer electronics conglomerates in history would have been able to come up with something better for design and function.

A few years ago, I tried to replace this clock radio with a Timex I saw in the store. The Timex clock radio looked pretty cool, with a big face and, though tall, a very small footprint. Alas, I could not for the life of me figure out how to make the damn thing work properly. The alarm kept going off in the middle of the night, and every time I tried to change the settings I would end up messing something else up. I finally gave up and returned the damned thing.