Just my personal views, for what they are worth:
Marketing seems to be taught as some kind of a creative art form nowadays, whereas I was taught it as being a relatively scientific (numbers-based) and methodical approach, using all sorts of applied human psychology, and to be executed with almost military precision. It was something that drove the business. I am not surprised that you say:
"I find marketing very funny that way sometimes."
From experience, the real and extremely well-thought-out business plans of most large corporations are often militaristic, mind-blowingly calculating and precise, highly confidential, shrouded in secrecy and rarely published. So, a great deal (if not most) of the marketing that we are able to see and that we are exposed to nowadays is just pap. Most of it seems to hinge around the use of BS and vague or at best ambiguous terminology to label ill-defined things in a way that sweet-talks us into disabling our critical faculties in support of the corporate objectives for profit.
"What's your take on the Google and Apple type of cultures?"
I expect they are both as bad as each other, in their own ways.
Look at the use of the term "corporate culture". What the heck is that? You could probably define it umpteen different ways, it's so ambiguous. I don't know really what it is, and neither do you, but if the CEO says that the "corporate culture" includes the phrase "Do no evil", then (as employees) we're highly unlikely to ask for a definition of "corporate culture" or argue the toss - no matter how stupid or nebulous it might all sound. So, it sounds just great to us, doesn't it? Of course it does. How could it be bad? The Emperor has some super clothes on.
One of the things that that super, high-sounding phrase ("Do no evil") does is move the focus away from its impossibility in light of the harsh reality that corporations are psychopathic legal persons licensed to operate freely in society (QED the documentary, The Corporation
). Any human person would be locked up in a lunatic asylum if they were psychopathic - for our protection - but not so corporations. Such corporations can do and generally will do whatever they can get away with in order to make a profit - for example, leaving a huge footprint on the environment, or poisoning thousands of people with toxic effluent or toxic working conditions. These are simply "externalities" for society to pick up and sort out at society's cost. The one thing that corporations must do by law - they are programmed to do - is make a profit for shareholders (maximise shareholder value). All else is subordinate to this. "Do no evil"? Yeah, right, and pigs have wings.
"Could the reason people don't buy into it is due to the plan being a waterfall method?"
It might be, but I doubt it. I'd still say as above, it is probably because they:
"are not committed to it, or cannot understand it"
Anyway, why should they buy into it in the first place - especially if it seems stupid/irrational, etc. - and what mandates that you must "buy-in" to another person's fantasy or their arbitrary system of rules? Only fear.
Only in the military must you obey orders without question. The cessation of thinking is decidedly an asset then. History is littered with examples of how generals have stupidly wasted thousands of soldiers' lives in war for no military gain whatsoever. Like lambs to the slaughter.
You talk about:
"this concept's efficiency when leaning towards academics"
This is all too vague for me, and I can't see that "efficiency" and "academia" are necessarily directly related anyway, and certainly not to the "quality of output".
For example, why put all those poor students through the same sausage-machine process and syllabus (e.g., Engineering), hoping to make "Leaders" of them, when Pareto's Law indicates that only 20% of them will be capable of becoming (can possibly be) 1st Class Thinkers and Leaders and the rest will be B students or less? Surely it would be more efficient
to weed out the Bs at the outset, and put them through something more suited to their capabilities where they could be productive contributors to society instead of frustrated would-be leaders not realising their own limitations and let loose to screw things up? Wouldn't that be a more effective use of human talent and resources?
These are hypothetical questions, but they can stimulate thought and debate.
Another example: Deming mentioned how he had been invited to sit in on a lecture at a leading US Business School, where MBA students were being taught about MBO (Management By Objectives). A lot of the students had been sent over from China to learn about Western business management methods. He said what a waste it was, that these Chinese students, who otherwise would have had their thinking uncluttered by such things, would now go back to China with these outdated ideas and stifle the Chinese economy with them just as they had been and were being used to stifle the US economy.
You see, of Deming's 14-point philosophy, one of the points was heretical - to abandon the use of MBO. MBO is a theoretical construct, not a law, but the way it is taught, you have to believe
in it to get your grades. This point of Deming's was a heretical point because, not only did it run contrary to conventional wisdom - the conventional wisdom of MBO - but also it slaughtered a sacred cow - it disproved
the theory of MBO.
Even adults, it seems, may sometimes need to continue to believe in fairies, or the Emperor's new clothes. Heaven's Gate could not have happened if things were otherwise. Why this is, and why skepticism seems to lie dormant - often when it is most needed - is a mystery to me.