The cat at the top tells the product owners what they want. The fat cat is not a software engineer. The product owner tells the engineers what they want. The engineers bend over backwards to accommodate the will of the product owner because they are not on an equal level respect wise. The product owners call the shots with primary informants being the fat cats. The software engineers do their damnedest to make it work with promises of payback. The codebase becomes heavier and heavier until it explodes.