70% solutions and the remaining task

In the book “Corps Business,” the author describes how the Marine Corps look for “70% solutions” – e.g. solutions solving 70% of any given problem. Having started at that baseline (which is similar in approach to the idea of the Minimum Viable Product), one can measure where inefficiencies are, iterate a test correction, and see if you can improve on the 70%.

Along that line, this morning I was thinking about what provinces and peoples form 70% of the remaining task. A quick and rough analysis of my Provinces spreadsheet gave me a list of 55. Unsurprisingly most are in India and China, with a handful of other places (e.g. Indonesia, Ethiopia, Turkey). The #1 largest province in the world is Uttar Pradesh. Change that, and it would make a dramatic difference in the world.

Having formed an initial list, the next thing I’m thinking about is this: of those provinces, which are positioned in such a way so that if they were dramatically transformed, they would ripple out into the provinces on their borders? In other words, what is the core of the core? I theorize that the radical transformation of just a handful of places–probably no more than a dozen, maybe only eight or ten–would bring about a massive change in the world.

But to get to that transformation would likely be costly.