We wait for the market to create a need, and to create a leader. Then everyone else gangs up on the leader and creates what they call a standard.
Think of Betamax and VHS. Sony was the first mover, and the other manufacturers ganged up on it to take the consumer market. Or think of Apple and Microsoft in PC operating systems, where Microsoft, IBM, and their OEMs convinced most of the market to wait six full years for a working user interface Apple had introduced in 1984. The same thing is happening with Apple and Google in phones, although in this case Apple has managed to sponge off most of the profits and leave the OEMs toting Google’s laundry and holding the bag.
But there are areas of technology where that process doesn’t work, where only the government can create and enforce standards because the players are too selfish and diffuse to accomplish it themselves.
It’s why the Internet is the way it is. I was covering the story at the time it happened, so I know.