Hardware and cables.
Our electronic life has become inundated with cables. %90 of which are absolutely unnecessary. Just imagine this, In your house, you have a TV, a Fridge, Microwave, Stereo, Iron, electric heater, and so on, I bet if you went around you'll find about 30 items in your house that plug into the wall. They all share the same kind of a wall socket, they all work off of the power grid specific to your geographical area, (US is 110, Europe 22..you get my point), and so on. You don't have to have different kinds of power plugs in your house, nor do you have to have different kinds of power cords. For example, your stereo equipment may have detachable cables, and they're all same kind on both ends, with some variations on the smaller stuff, but about %90 the same. NOW WHY CAN'T WE HAVE THIS WITH DATA EQUIPMENT? YES, I AM SCREAMING!
Why do apple devices have so many different cables? Why do android and windows devices have so many different cables? and don't get me started with the F'n voltage. I had to do some work last night, I have 4 external HD's all by Seagate. You'd think their power brick would be interchangeable. NOT IT IS NOT! each drive has its own power brick. I had to plug them in one by one and test to find the one that works. ANDY WHY the hell are the ends different? why are there countless sizes for rounded-end power plugs?
THIS is why we need government oversight. THIS is one of these cases where the government has to step in and tell these greedy companies that they need to standardized this stuff because it is possible.
Well, this was my rant for now....
Your solution to label everything is a very solid solution, and it works, I actually do have some labels on most of my necessary cables, and after this last incident, I labeled these items as well. However, my point and my frustration is with these hardware companies constantly changing cables and power bricks for the sake of sucking more cash out of us. The idea here is that it is absolutely not necessary. For example, with USB-C and its potentials go, we don't need anything other cables. All newly manufactured products should come with a USB C. However, for example, a few months ago I purchased some phones. A Samsung Galaxy, An iPhone, and an iPhone Pro. 3 phones, all 3 of them the latest tech, and 3 different kinds of cables. F'n iPhone doesn't even come with a charger! the regular iPhone comes with a Lightning cable but the pro comes with USB C, and my Samsung comes with USB C. Same thing with the Apple computers. You spend $2000 on an apple laptop (This is a work requirement) and it only offers 2 USB C ports, and yet, almost everything else out there that needs to be connected, is Regular USB. Apple offers their own super expensive dongles that only connect 3 items, I had to go spend $80 to purchase a quality multi-port so I can plug in 2 monitors and USB Sticks and etc.
Again, my Rant and Frustration is with the hardware companies and them being allowed to run a mock any which way they see fit by constantly and needlessly changing cables, and the governments of the world and the international standardization agencies taking zero action against them. If anything, the environmental factor alone should be a cause for great concern. I myself, have a drawer full of cables, and I see no end to it. As long as I am Android, and my wife is IOS, this stupid cable saga will continue, and I am sure my household is not alone.
That's my opinion and could be wrong.
You've raised a very interesting topic but the problem doesn't seem to be resolved in the nearest future. Different manufacturers provide different connectors and government can't put any regulations cause that's how market economy works. Plus, nobody needs another monopoly company.