Back when I was a wee lad, quite some years ago, I was staunchly convinced quality beat public relations; I truly expected that if anyone was really good he (or she) would rise to the top based merely on the quality of their abilities. Since in the days of my wee-dom advertising executives enjoyed the status that Wall Street humbugs enjoyed in 2007, you can see that I was a contrarian even then.
Then life taught me otherwise. Quality is a fine thing, surely, but PR is better, and sharp elbows are bestest, especially when used to create fine PR to cover one's pushiness.
I have just finished reading the second book in a row that claims that quality is a necessary condition for success. The first, which I mentioned a while ago, was Guy Kawasaki's The Art of Start. The second is even more troubling, as it focuses entirely on how to get word out to the masses: Emanual Rosen's The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited; Real-life Lessons in Word-of-Mouth Marketing.
I must say this insistence on an idea I gave up on many years ago is disconcerting.