Someone at work pointed me at the Google Testing Blog: Testing in the Data Center (Manufacturing No More). Pretty insightful article, and a very healthy perspective on the process of delivering working software.
It was a very a-ha moment for me as far as how well this resonates with many of the testing practices used here at Netflix for the website. However, it really only focuses on applications delivered via the web. The analogy breaks down for packaged and embedded software.
I guess an extention of this metaphor for shrinkwrap and embedded would be like a person who is born, and is then shipped off in a capsule out into space. It can only rely on the resources sent on the journey with it, even though telemetry can still be sent home about how well it's doing.
Very interesting read, though, and quite thought provoking in general.