Usually the things that make or break a project are process and people issues. The way that you work on a day-to-day basis. Who your architects are, who your managers are, and who you are working with on the programming team. How you communicate, and most importantly how you solve process and people problems when they come up. The fastest way to get stuck is to think that it's all about the technology and to believe that you can ram your way through the other things. Those other things are the most likely ones to stop you cold.
In my first jobs, I saw lots of managers making stupid decisions, and so, logically, I came to the conclusion that managers and management was stupid. It's a commonly held belief in our profession: if you're not smart enough to deal with the technology, you go into management. Over time I very slowly learned that the task of management wasn't stupid, it's just very, very hard. That's why all those stupid decisions are still being made; management is much harder than technology because it involves virtually no deterministic factors. It's all guesswork, so if you don't have good intuition you'll probably make stupid decisions. Napoleon wanted lucky generals rather than smart ones.
If I had a dime for every time I heard a web programmer apologize for the way his/her pages looked before revealing them, I certainly wouldn’t need to work anymore.
As with color picking, I think that programmers tend to avoid doing certain things not because they are inherently bad at it, but because they don’t know how to proceed. They find themselves in an uncharted and foggy territory, without a map, no sense of direction, and with a limited ability to know if they’re getting any closer to where they want to be. Also, when they talk to people that don’t share such problems and find it all too natural and obvious, it’s hard for the two to communicate in terms that make sense to a programmer.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think anybody can design something truly beautiful, innovative, simple and that can resonate with a big percentage of the population. Far from it.
I have a much simpler and humble goal here: give programmers some tricks and some advice in how to proceed to make their web pages look cleaner, more readable and, hopefully, more professional, elegant and original than before.