First came the industrial revolution and a plethora of products.
Then came standardisation.
Let me give you two examples:
(1) Years back there were only the Voltas window air-conditioners. In three capacities: 1, 1.25 and 1.5 tons. All the three capacities of air-conditioners were of the same size. That is standardisation for you. If you had a 1 ton unit and it were to be take away for repairs, I could loan you a 1.5 ton unit till such time your unit is repaired. No hassles. But today the story is different.
(2) Decades back when I was a school-boy using ball-point pens, there were only two types of refills: Ordinary and jotter. Any refill could be used in any pen, most of the times. You know the story today.
Manufacturers have started making the products unique, so that they can keep the business with themselves.
Manufacturers say: Standardisation? Hell with it.
Oh yes, we seem to be heading there!!