Yeah, I don't think it's usually intentional lying, more like embellished (potentially unrealistic) prediction, or exaggerating the involvement of one stakeholder to get buy-in of another. The article last year in Wired, No Exit
, does a good job of illustrating the phenomena:
"At this point, they were forced to play a shell game with everyone they met. Without investors, they couldn’t afford to hire the engineers they required to sell a robust product to paying customers. Without customers, they had no market-traction data to show investors. They needed investors to get customers and engineers; they needed customers to get investors and engineers; they needed engineers to get customers and investors. If they didn’t act as though it were all in place, there was no chance it would ever fall into place."
There is a lot of juggling expectations of different people to hang in there long enough to make it to the next "thing" whatever that is. Being creative with the metrics can be part of this.