So, lets say you start a project, and from the outset, this project is controversial. Unfortunately, you set unrealistic expectations for this project, and, eventually, you conclude that you cannot succeed. If you conceed defeat, it will be perceived as weakness, and all of your naysayers will claim they were right. Shuting down the project will also create a festering mess that you will be held responsible for. What you do in this situation is stick to your guns, but behave just incompetantly enough to get yourself fired. You get replaced with one of your naysayers, who shuts down the project, causing the inevitable mess. You then get to claim, from the sidelines, that your naysayers were wrong, that the project should have continued, and the mess is the naysayer's fault. You live to fight another day.