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To SamIAm99: If I were the King of storage and everyone seemed to be clamoring for an interoperability standard so all their solutions could be plug and play compatible with mine, I think I would play the following game.

I would offer the considerable expertise of my senior technologist to lead the standard development effort, hopefully within an Industry Association, with equal votes on various important issues.

Just to show how serious I was about this issue, I would sponsor another group that would require companies seeking membership to work collaboratively to help develop a high speed seamless storage solution. This second initiative would only be a backup in case the Industry Association approach might not achieve the resulting standard soon enough to meet the earliest of industry's needs.

With these two thrust in place, I have achieved many things: 1) No one can accuse me of not being serious about solving this need, 2) Since the expected outcome of the Industry Association is something less than is needed - I can rest very comfortably that the second outcome will surpass the first effort and, with any luck, be whole heartedly endorsed as a solution by the Industry Association, 3) The members of the second group will continue to work together for their mutual good and I will in effect have an up and running value chain, and 4) I will still be a strong King with a deep moat around my high-walled castle, and with any luck, Princes and Serfs willing to die for my protection.

This is an approach a strong King might use.

A Gorilla, by definition, has proprietary control of the technology. He doesn't need, much less wants, a standard of any kind. Once he puts his technology down in black and white in a standard, proprietary or not, his competitors will expect him to operate to that standard. He then loses some of his flexibility to "upgrade" his technology to 1) improve his product and 2) keep his competitors off balance.

The implications of externally, and thereby presumably independently, developed standards is indeed clear. We end up with a bunch of Serfs (no Gorillas, no Chimps, no Monkeys, No Kings, and probably no Princes) cutting price margins and using lowest cost product development techniques to out bid each other to have the honor of providing product to the customer.

While the above paragraph makes perfectly good and logical sense, it has at least one major flaw. Where do you find the necessary independent and cooperative experts to develop the standard?

Hope this helps to pave the jungle.

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