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Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Brown M&Ms

Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Brown M&Ms

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Musicians and artists can be quirky, and some are famous for making absurd demands – because they can. Among the seemingly quirkiest: Van Halen (in the David Lee Roth days), who demanded that a bowl of M&Ms candies be available backstage, with all of the brown ones removed and there’s actually a brilliant reason for it, according to Insider.

The demand was buried in the rider to the performance contract – a rider that was roughly the size of the Manhattan phone book, and the M&Ms provision was placed inconspicuously within the document to ensure that the promoters actually read it. It primarily included technical specifications to do with lighting, staging, necessary infrastructure, security, etc.

There’s Always A Reason

Van Halen had a mammoth stage act, or as Diamond Dave explained, “At the time, it was the biggest production ever”…In many cases, the venues were too outdated or inadequately prepared to set up the band’s sophisticated stage,” and very specific technical needs had to be met to ensure that no one on either side of the stage got hurt due to a lack of attention to detail. If all of the provisions were not met, Van Halen had the right to keep all of the proceeds from the concert, which often totaled in the millions. Their litmus test? The brown M&Ms. If they spotted brown M&Ms, they knew that, chances were, the rider had not been fully read, much less adhered to, and the band would need to do a serious line check. Here’s the Diamond Dave interview that explains what proved to be a shrewd business move – and safety test. Read More...

Simple is Elegant

Simple is Elegant

When Albert Einstein met Charlie Chaplin, Einstein said, “What I most admire about your art, is your universality. You don’t say a word, yet the world understands you!”

“It’s true,” Chaplin replied. “But your glory is even greater! The whole world admires you, even though they don’t understand a word of what you say.” Read More...

Dumb Things Founders Do, Say or Believe

Dumb Things Founders Do, Say or Believe

Summer break is over. Time to get real again. Speaking of which, we’d like to offer a few observations which may help your pitch or strategy and which will hopefully help you move the needle just a bit. Or at least to get real. We do actively mentor at accelerators, and attend pitch events and demo days and host semi-monthly investor breakfasts for entrepreneurs. We don’t claim to have seen and heard it all, but there are a few things you might want to take note of – and a few claims and phrases we’d rather not hear again:

“We have 30+ years experience in ecommerce.” A team of maybe four young co-founders pitching, say, an ecommerce play and claiming to have 30+ years of experience between them. Note to self: most of your team looks as though they’re under 30. Ecommerce itself has only been around for some 20+ years, when most of your teams were still in diapers or hadn’t made his or her debut yet on the planet. Stop it. You’re not fooling anyone. Read More...

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