The overall goal for any embedded designer can be summed up quite easily:
Better, faster, cheaper.
Better in the sense that you choose a high-quality hardware solution that perfectly matches the system requirements with the minimal number of components and with excess horsepower for the inevitable feature-creep that any product faces during development. The ideal choice would include all necessary memory and peripheral functions onboard, occupy minimal space, and consume almost no power.
Faster by bringing the product to market in the least amount of time possible, preferably before your competition even knows the work has begun.
Cheaper for the obvious reasons—the lower the cost to the customer, the higher the ...