The most important standards on the Web are not technological, they’re social. They are the standards that software and web sites need to reach before people find something useful. If you can, yes, use standards to make your app more accessible, or to save on your bandwidth costs, or give you better visibility among your peers.
But standards are a false idol, and praying to validation is putting technology before humans. Don’t make standards an absolute necessity if they’re going to hold you back from coming up with something like Gmail that completely changes the way we use the Web.
Joshua Porter on standards fetishism