I saw this post on Linked In the other day. I love the notion of the M&M test for your business!
David Lee Roth gets down from the Van Halen tour bus and makes a bee-line for the concert hall. He strides into the dressing room and immediately finds what he’s looking for – a little bowl of peanut M&M’s.
Roth begins to inspect each one. If he finds a single brown M&M, tonight’s show could be off.
Van Halen’s tour rider explicitly said: “M&M’s (WARNING: ABSOLUTELY NO BROWN ONES).”
To understand why he was so adamant about the M&M’s, you have to realize that Van Halen’s ’1984 Tour’ was the biggest, most complex show in rock history at the time.
Venues had to pay careful attention to the band’s elaborate instructions explaining how to rig the venue for the show.
Most didn’t bother, and the band would roll up only to find the show couldn’t go ahead because the venue hadn’t done the right groundwork.
So the M&M’s test was a quick way to see who read the show’s specifications.
“If I came backstage and I saw brown M&M’s on the catering table, it guaranteed the promoter had not read the contract rider, and we had to do a serious line check,” says Roth.
Not everybody reads the important material you give them. The question is – is there an M&M’s test you can apply to your own line of work so you always know when you’re ready to rock?