From an Intercom interview with Ryan Singer, Product Manager at 37signals I have found one of the best quotes I've seen in a long, long time. It absolutely connects with what I love to try and accomplish in my work.
“ I always wanted to make products where the purpose of the product is really clear, and it really connects with something that somebody’s trying to do. ”
- Ryan Singer
The whole interview is excellent. It's most definitely definitely worth a read. He beats up on Personas, says that UX and some of the processes used are really more about solving agency-client dynamics that making great products, and basically really makes you think about how product design can happen.
If you'd rather listen than read, there's an MP3 of the interview you can download too.