Understanding the concept of “emergent properties” is the difference between succeeding and floundering in a fluid technology marketplace. In the end, it is not surprising that the Apples, Facebooks, and Googles of the world develop birds to advance the economies and emergent properties of flocks.

If we continue with the aforementioned analogy, interactive maps on DMO websites are individual birds. The same can be said of calendars of events, itinerary builders, mobile, and newsletters. Singularly, none of these, no matter how fleet or capable, gives rise to “emergent properties” unless it represents an expression of an over-riding system concept or plan.

For example, I’m sure that Flash mapmakers wonder what happened to their market share. I’m equally sure that their response will be to add more feathers to their birds without addressing essential emergent properties—their bird’s ability to affect the general good of the development flock. Adding feathers is not system think. It is product patch.

To be fair, old birds aren’t the problem any more than my Walkman would be the problem if I dusted it off and started using it at the gym. On the treadmill, it would work just fine. The problem lies in the fact that old birds, like Walkmen, can not integrate or propagate with advanced and unrelenting modern flocks comprised of birds like iPhones. While the old bird may fly in a technological vacuum, a new coat of plumage can’t propel it to heights it was never built to attain. For the best of all reasons, old birds are doomed to extinction because they cannot affect the properties of the emergent breed.