Standards don’t matter because it’s the applications that matter. (To the legions of people who lay this platitude on me, pretty much on a daily basis, thank you. I wouldn’t have been able to figure it out without you. I would just sit around working on a 500 page spec for its own sake, because that’s so much fun.) But try to scale these applications up, and try to reuse your content, across an enterprise or over the Internet, without standards. Just try. And even if you don’t want to use standards, your customers will eventually make you, because by now they have gotten tired of paying you too much money to rewrite the same content over and over and over again for each new application use, each new platform.
From “Like a Phoenix From the Ashes: X3D and the Rebirth of Reason” by Tony Parisi. He says it better than I ever could, and what he says is just as relevant to our corner of the Web as it is to his.