The list of reasons is nearly endless.
We need all of them to explain the shortcuts, phone-ins and half-work that we’re surrounded by.
All of them are pretty good reasons too. We’re in a hurry, the system is unfair, the market demands it, no one will notice, it’s not my job, I was handed a lousy spec, the materials are second-rate, the market won’t pay for quality, competition is cutthroat, my boss is a jerk, it’s actually pretty good, no one appreciates the good stuff anyway…
On the other hand, there’s only one way to justify work that’s better than it needs to be: Because you cared enough.