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What’s your brown M&M?

Rock-stars and high-profile musicians are known to make wild-demands in terms of backstage setups for their concerts. Here is what the famous rapper Eminem demanded as part of his backstage setup, ‘2 bottles of Bacardi, 2 bottles of Hennessy cognac, 4 bottles of still mineral water, 2 cases of Mountain Dew – imported from America, 4 bottles of orange juice, trays of assorted fruit. A selection of Taco Bell – imported from America.’

Out of all these stories, the one that stands out the most is the story of Van Halen (the Rock band of the 70’s and 80’s), buried in their contract rider was a clause that if brown M&M’s were found backstage the entire show would be cancelled.

Part of a rider from Van Halen’s 1982 world tour. 

As revealed later by the bands lead singer David Lee Roth, this was a shrewd business tactic to ensure that the concert promoter had read the contract in its entirely and that everything has been arranged in accordance to their requirements.

With having to prepare the entire venue, setting up the lightning & sound systems, arranging the security etc. one could be forgiven for forgetting about a few tiny M&M’s. Unless, you cannot compromise on quality or are unwilling to under-deliver to those who pay for your services or products. And this was what Steve Jobs was known for, his maniacal obsession to deliver the best possible experience and not just a product to the consumer.

Like Paul graham mentions in one of his essays “I have never once seen a startup lured down a blind alley by trying too hard to make their initial users happy.” And that is what we believe in at Seven Robotics, our team has people who’ve been on ground zero of intralogistics and have experienced the pain first-hand, people who’ve built and launched hardware products and understand the level of attention to detail required in order to delight the customers.

During our run-up to the first product demo at a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, everything was in place except the LED indicator module was yet to be developed. I took two weeks to get the lighting effect, spot-on. We had to reach out to dozens of suppliers and machinists to get the LED profile shaped just right, the frosting effect had to be perfect to ensure that their are no dark-spots. And we must have gone through at least 3-4 led strip reels to zero it down to the one with the best response time and the best luminescence effect.

With limited resources and time this wasn’t required nor necessary, but that is just how we are wired here. Anything we put out there has to be close to perfect and that is the approach we take with everything. Be it product development, deployment, customer service or culture. And that is why this story resonated with us and we end-up asking our customers about their brown M&M’s.

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