Cotton candy and little enterprise deceptions

At what point does pleasing product presentation become genuine deception?

Cotton candy photo by Michael Krigsman

While browsing the instruction manual for a professional cotton candy (PDF download) machine, the following phrase jumped off the page (emphasis added):

Many experienced operators prefer to lift the ring out of the pan and, with a flick of the wrist, turn the ring into a figure eight and whip it around the cone. This leaves giant air pockets and makes it appear that you are serving a larger portion.

Of course, sales people want to minimize weaknesses in their product or service offerings, so this kind of presentation happens all the time in every sphere of life.

In the enterprise, where products and their organizational impact are intensely complex, the situation is magnified a zillion-fold. The many lawsuits over IT failures testify to the significance of mismatched expectations between vendor claims and buyer understanding.

At what point does beneficial "product presentation" become outright deception and is there a solution for the enterprise? Please share your thoughts.

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