What is your opinion on designed deterioration?

Khoi Vinh’s article on his blog last July triggered a lot of discussion on designed deterioration.

Do we keep in mind all the phases of a product life cycle whilst developing a product? Do we launch a “beta” product and let it grow, updating, patching and improving it until it becomes obsolete like software? And what do we do with it once it is obsolete? Is there still something as a finished product?