Are There too Many Consortia?

“Companies that participate in hundreds of standard setting
organizations (SSOs) often bemoan the continuing launch of more and
more such organizations. Why, they are wont to ask, are so many new
ones being formed all the time? And indeed, the aggregate
participation costs for such companies in terms of membership dues
and personnel are very high.

“Of course, if you read the press releases of the new consortia
launched in any given year, you’ll see that almost all include some
of the same companies among their founding members. So which is the
more accurate picture — that there too many consortia, or too
few? The best answer to both questions almost certainly is

“It’s not whether there are too many SSOs in existence at any
point in time, but whether the right SSOs are available to do the
work that needs to be done

“How can that be true? Let’s look at these questions in reverse
order to find out.

“First of all, there are never likely to be enough SSOs, in the
sense that while the inventory at any point in time will be large,
the range of the available stock will rarely be completely
comprehensive when compared to the technology landscape at the same
instant. This is particularly true with respect to new
technologies, where more often than not, no existing SSO will prove
to be technically appropriate as well as interested in expanding
its mission to fill the gap.”