In the April 15th edition of The Economist, they provide a special report on innovation in emerging markets.
Half of the report focuses on what is essentially a restatement of the principles behind
They term this "Frugal Innovation", and it involves taking types of devices consumed by the rich world, and then reinventing the idea behind them to make entirely new and novel devices (NOT just simple copies) that achieve the same or most of the same effect but for much less.
They trumpet the same magic formula that
Frugal Innovation doesn't just involve reducing the input and overhead costs, but sometimes reinventing the process used to create the software. And ruthlessly stripping out anything that isn't universally necessary.
Some of the same principles are now also being applied to services, with one Indian medical centre setting up essentially a production line for heart operation, applying the same principles of specialisation and copious less skilled support services that created Ford's original production lines for products.
There's a great podcast from The Economist on the same topic here...
One interesting side note is that for software this same principle appears to feed into the measure of long term evolution I've mentioned in a couple of my talks, which is "Information processed, per unit space, per time".
This might be something that's actually interesting to measure in it's own right. You could measure this "Software Density" score by taking the amount of work some code does, and then look at how much code is never (or rarely) run.
This would be something similar to coverage testing, but for regular operation.