There was a show on TV over here a few years ago that showed what tends to happen quite a lot. The show had a really smart programming geek and an arrogant designer. The designer would agree everything with the client then take it to the programmer, toss the design on the table with a throwaway comment like "here, code that monkey boy! The designer got all the glory and reward and the programmer got the hard work and pressure to deliver (Because of the broken standards).
Microsoft had a pretty good go at tackling this issue with the Expression suite but it looks to have failed - largely because great design and great development skills rarely exist in the same body.
So what has this got to do with web standards?
go take a look at the html standard docs... it has stuff like how tall a line should render that kind of says "well a one inch tall line can be between 3/4 of an inch to 1 1/2 inches tall."
so when two or three different teams write a browser they can have different results for the same html. but they can all say they are following the same "standard" that along with all the other junk about handling bad html leads to the classic problems we see with trying to make web pages that look the same in different browsers. and this has led to web sites targeting one browser and telling users to switch browsers for the site to work right.
*IF* we had a real standard that all the browsers used then it would not matter to the designer or the user what browser they used, it would work the same on all of them. then developers and designers and users would all have less problems with html and browsers.