Re: Yes, IT is sort of a meritocracy
Unfortunately in IT is quite often the solution which is implemented first which wins. Once something is up and running even if it is a complete streaming pile of shit, it will be left in place as refactoring always has least precedence.
Refactoring isn't always enough. Sometimes you have to admit that you chose the wrong path, and the work so far has to be thrown away. Some prototypes fail.
Sadly, many people believe the value of something is what you have paid for it, so they are extremely loath to discard work that has taken a number of weeks. And we're straight into the Sunken Cost fallacy; if there's a mistake in the design, it's usually cheaper to chuck everything and do it right than to try to patch up a faulty plan.