I was having a problem on one machine when I tried to connect my Nexus 5 to run ADB for Android dev: it would show USB debugging mode briefly, then drop off. I found these errors in the Console logs for my Mac:
7/16/14 2:43:47.000 PM kernel: USBF: 10989.488 The IOUSBFamily is having trouble enumerating a USB device that has been plugged in. It will keep retrying. (Port 2 of Hub at 0x14000000)
7/16/14 2:43:47.000 PM kernel: USBF: 10989.945 The IOUSBFamily was not able to enumerate a device.
After too much time reading various posts from folks with similar problems, I swapped out the cable, and now it works. So it turns out just because a cable is able to charge the phone doesn’t mean it works for ADB.
My phone is a Nexus 5, my Mac is running Mavericks, and I’m running Android Debug Bridge version 1.0.31.