Standards are largely responsible for the rapid growth of technology. They are solid first steps toward assuring interoperability between devices. That means that many design teams can be working on building product simultaneously. And that means applications can be deployed very, very quickly.
There are times when standards are not such a good idea, of course, and the most widely recognized example is when the product doesn't really have to communicate with other products. Just pick the best technology and start work.
Another problem with standards is that sometimes they become too general and too all-encompassing. That can mean that the standard is not such a great fit for any particular application.
We're beginning to see a good deal of proprietary activity in the ZigBee space nowand it's probably for that reason. Mesh networking applied to sensor networks is a good ideaone of the applications ZigBee once counted its own.
But with recent changes, the ZigBee stackaccording to its criticshas become too large. This opens the door for proprietary solutions because although interoperability is valuable in sensor networks its not critical.