This has nothing to do with 'marketing types' and 'blue sky thinkers'. Since the A380 Airbus have used a rigourous systems-engineering based approach to product design, starting with an analysis of the functions that the product is required to provide. This is a clear resut of the requirement to provide pilots visual information, i.e. the 'need' in you Patton argument
If it provides better information more often than it provides worse information compared with an alternative implementation then it's bought its way onto the product. If it's lighter or cheaper than the alternative then the weight and cost can be used in other systems or structure to improve overall safety or cost of ownership.
If someone comes up with an idea that has some merit it gets patented.
The aircraft industry is nothing like the software industry.