To quote directly "A striking feature of contemporary innovation is that hardly any organization can innovate alone. Most innovations involve a multitude of organizations. This is especially the case for the most knowledge-intensive, complex technologies. " Let's think about that.
Basically, Milbergs is building the case that the day of the individual innovator is dead. Too many different technologies and capabilities are required to create truly new products and services. No one person can build all the circuits of a new MP3 player, for instance, and even if he or she could, distribution, marketing and many other facets are too difficult for one company. Let's put the lie to even Edison's innovations. Edison never worked alone, but surrounded by a large staff of technicians, draftsmen and others who came from different industries. Edison had numerous contacts across different industries as well, and personally knew the capitalists who funded much of his research.
If individuals can't innovate alone, can corporations? Can one corporation create new innovations all by itself? I think here the answer is a little different - it depends on the innovation we are talking about. In the case of new products, it is still difficult to innovate by oneself unless the products can be designed, manufactured, tested and distributed by one firm. It's hard to create new products without involving other firms. In fact, P&G and 3M are constantly bringing other firms and innovators into the product development process. Conversely, a service oriented innovation can be created by one firm. Firms that provide services or differentiate on services can create a service innovation or a business model that does not rely on others for success.
However, longer term, we've got to innovate in the open. The network effect has an impact on innovation - the value of the new product or service - and the availability of the innovation - how quickly it is adopted. This means that firms using open innovation styles and working across the customer-business partner barrier are more likely to succeed.