Self Interest

Groups with a common interest have an extremely difficult
time coordinating their behavior. Even if coordinated
behavior would reap a significant common benefit.

For example there are numerous tragic stories of neighboring towns
standing by while fires distroyed a village or city because previously
their fire departments failed to coordinate the size of their hose fittings.

Coordinating behavior for common gain is particularly difficult in
competitive environments, like the marketplace. One thing that will
drive the players in a market to pay the coordinating cost is a common
threat to their survival. A common foe.

Here’s a facinating example. The hyper-competitive Whitehouse reporters
banded together against

their common foe, the president’s press secretary.

That kind of event sometimes is the precursor of standard setting.

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