...certain patterns of social interaction make radical innovation more likely. Bold ideas are typically incompletely formed when first conceived and easily shot down by criticism. Hence, they emerge more readily in communities in which individuals work mostly in small and relatively isolated groups, giving their ideas time and space to mature.I'm not sure I agree with that. Radical innovation can flourish in a small, isolated group, but there are plenty of examples where radical innovation flourishes in a larger, well connected group - pretty much every successful open source project contains some element of radical innovation. And survivorship bias suggests we should consider the myriad of unseen examples where innovation failed in small, isolated groups.
The article continues:
The problem, says social scientist Viktor Mayer-Schönberger of the National University of Singapore, is that today's software developers work in social networks in which everyone is closely linked to everyone else. "The over-abundance of connections through which information travels reduces diversity and keeps radical ideas from taking hold," he suggests.We ought to make a distinction here between the activity of finding suitable collaborators and the process of developing the idea to maturation. Just because someone has a well established network on a social networking platform, it doesn't necessarily follow that they'll share their ideas with all their contacts there. It's far more likely that they'll cherry pick the individuals with whom they wish to collaborate - and the social networking tool will have allowed them to connect with a more diverse pool of talent, improving their ability to identify the best partners.
As for incomplete yet bold ideas being "easily shot down by criticism", I don't see much evidence of this. On the contrary I think the act of preparing an idea for public review helps the author tighten the idea considerably, to a point where - if it has merit - your audience is more likely to debate the finer points rather than shoot it down completely.