IRL checksum

Why Van Halen demanded that brown M&M’s be removed in all their venue contracts for their concerts:

That way, the band could simply enter the arena and look for a bowl of M&Ms in the backstage area. No brown M&Ms? Someone read the contract fully, so there were probably no major mistakes with the equipment. A bowl of M&Ms with the brown candies? No bowl of M&Ms at all? Stop everyone and check every single thing, because someone didn’t bother to read the contract. Roth himself said:

“So, when I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl . . . well, line-check the entire production. Guaranteed you’re going to arrive at a technical error. They didn’t read the contract. Guaranteed you’d run into a problem. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show. Something like, literally, life-threatening.”

Not sure what to call this.  Kind of like a checksum.  Different goal but reminiscent of watermarking.  Probably a better technical term for it.

Full article (was) here.
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4 thoughts on “IRL checksum

  1. TrevorFiatal says:

    Chris, I’d call that a Key Performance Indicator (KPI). In Ops environments, KPIs are the canaries in the coal mine — if a KPI is out of whack, you can safely assume that a whole bunch of related stuff is headed for a bad place.The hard work, in my experience, is in finding the KPIs that are reliable indicators among all the things you could be looking at. This is one of the things that sets apart a great Ops team from a merely good one. How well the identification and monitoring of KPIs is sustained over time is an excellent indicator of how well Eng and Ops are collaborating day-to-day.

  2. teklounge says:

    David Lee Roth’s book, “Crazy From the Heat” is badass. I toured with a band for 7 years and it certainly is a captcha that if they don’t get the rider portion of the contract right, (the M&M’s, the liquor preferences, the OFF-stage stuff) then you can count on the stage being a train wreck. I find that if we follow the path of Roth in our software development, unicorns appear.

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