Devil in the detail: HTC, Van Halen and M&M’s

The oft quoted phrase ‘it’s the little things in life that matter’ has been going round my head this week; all as a result of my new HTC and Van Halen.

Bear with me.

Let’s start with Van Halen. It’s a well known story that the band had an famous concert rider (list of requests) during the 1980s. Among the numerous detailed technical specifications listed in the contract was article number 126:


While this may seem like a rock  band making a ridiculous request, it actually served a hugely important purpose. Van Halen put on a very big show with lots of specific technical requirements and had been plagued with dangerous, technical errors. Lead singer David Lee Roth added article 126, figuring if he came into the dressing room and saw a bowl with brown M&M’s he could guarantee these requirements had not been read correctly, therefore potentially presenting health and safety risks to the performers and audience.

So how does this link with my new phone? It’s all about the devil in the detail. My new phone is an HTC One M9 and while I’m still getting used to it (ex-iPhone user), one small detail impressed me in a big way — the SIM eject pin.


It may just be me, but I think it’s brilliant.  It’s far nicer than Apple’s poor attempt, but it also makes me think. Specifically, if they’ve showed this much thought for such a small item, what else have they done with the more elaborate or technical elements of the phone? Much like Van Halen’s rider request, if you spend the time to get the little things right you will impress with the bigger, more obvious elements. In this case one happy customer left wondering what else I might be missing with my new toy.

If you’re interested in reading more about Van Halen’s rider story, check out this Snopes article.

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Dad, digital marketeer at Tank PR, Derby County fan, film buff, book worm and husband. In that order, but don't tell the wife.