In my experience, I've seen that most of the solutions are just a restatement of their scale. That is, scale and the solution is so intricately intertwined, that the solution is not applicable to the same problem of a larger scale. Unless, of course, the solution keeps scale in mind [a solution that can be scaled up, and more importantly scaled out].
I saw this [couple of months ago]: A nuclear reactor built in the basement.
Hmm... I'm no physicist, but it seems scalability in software is a unique problem ;)