Tuesday, July 9, 2013

MLM Mythbusting: Did Harvard Business School Really Develop 3 Criteria of Successful MLM Companies? (No, they did not!)

English: Harvard Business School
English: Harvard Business School (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here's one of the most often repeated MLM myths: Harvard Business School teaches Network Marketing. That is a LIE. HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL DOES NOT TEACH Network Marketing, Multi-Level Marketing, or any such similar schemes.

MLMers who tries to legitimize the industry often repeat the claim that "network marketing is taught in 200 schools around the US, including Harvard Business School", and "HBS studied network marketing in detail and have developed a 3 item checklist to locate the successful ones."  Sometimes the list is also supplemented by a "4 stages of business success".

This is repeated ad infinitum by MLMers attempting to legitimate their own particular scheme, be in neutraceuticals and next uberfruit juice to woo bracelets and body wraps to... anything! In fact, search in Google for "Harvard Network Marketing" and you'll get bazillion hits. Okay, about 12 million hits. Almost all of them are lies.

Here's the honest truth:

There is only ONE SCHOOL in the US, that I know of, that offers a a degree in network marketing. It's a tiny little community college in Kansas called Bethany College. Technically it isn't even that. It's degree in marketing, with emphasis on network marketing.

(If you can cite another one, please show proof: magazine or newspaper article, school syllabus, etc.)

Harvard Business School (HBS) themselves are VERY TIRED of network marketers claiming something they do NOT do. In fact, if any MLM business claim so, it will very likely face a LAWSUIT from HBS, as this article (back in 1995!) had already busted. Quoting from the article:
 ``If the registrar's office had a dollar for every call we've had over the years over whether Harvard Business School teaches multilevel marketing or has studies on it, we could throw a very nice Christmas party,'' reads one internal business-school memo. ``This claim is harder to kill than a dandelion.''
What was once a nuisance now looks like grounds for potential defamation or libel lawsuits, says Frank J. Connors, a Harvard lawyer. Some handouts, for example, now claim _ falsely _ that Harvard has conducted ``extensive research in the network marketing industry,'' and that the business school calls multilevel marketing ``a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.''
Got that? REPEAT AFTER ME: 

Harvard Business School DOES NOT TEACH NETWORK MARKETING!

Okay, where did this came from? How did this nasty rumor got started? 

From a network marketer, of course. 

In 1984, a MLM consultant by the name of Beverly Nadler, published an article in Business Connections magazine (an obscure MLM industry magazine) that claimed the following:
Multi-level marketing (also known as MLM) has finally gained respectability. It is being taught in HarvardBusinessSchool, and both Stanford Research and the Wall Street Journal have stated that between 50% and 65% of all goods and services will be sold through multi-level methods by the 1990's. This is a multi-billion dollar in­dustry.
The source of her information was NEVER disclosed. Furthermore, Wall Street Journal has NEVER published such a statement that 50-65% of all goods and services will be sold by MLM by 1990's. This is very simple to check at the WSJ website. 
When contacted by AP reporter in 1995 for comment on the accuracy of her claim, she had no comment. However, according the AP, Nadler apparently admitted in her 1992 book "Congratulations, you lost your job" that she did not verify some information in her 1984 article

In other words, she made up the s***. 

But she's proud of her lie, since she still publishes it on her website, where she's proud that her lie was the most copied and read MLM article in the world for many many years, fooling millions of people. 

Oh, and she'll TRAIN you in MLM if you pay her. 

And NOBODY bothered verifying this information! (until 1995, when the AP reporter did so)

And the entire MLM industry had been living a lie... for 30 YEARS! 

Now that we have established that HBS does NOT teach network marketing, who really wrote that 3 item checklist that supposed was attributed to HBS? First, what does this list say? It says a good MLM company has 3 keys: 
  1. Must be older than 18 months (but younger than 4 years)
  2. Must have products that are unique and consumable
  3. Must be a "ground floor" opportunity (low number of distributors per capita)

This is often followed (but not always) by 3 or 4 phases of a successful MLM business (sometimes formulation is combined with concentration):
  • Formulation
  • Concentration
  • Momentum
  • Stability

In general these two lists were attributed to Harvard Business School. However, as we've shown, it was NOT from HBS. So, where did the two lists came from? 

One author attributed the 3 keys to Trump / Kiyosaki, who supposedly wrote an article (for what?) that seem to be a summary from "We Want You To Be Rich". However, searching that book using Amazon and Google showed NO references to such a list. 

Searching for the second list shows that it was excerpted from a book called "Wave 3: The New Era In Network Marketing" by Richard Poe. However, there was no sign of the first list in that book either. 

In fact, in every mention of that first list (in its various forms, with or without examples, with or without additional verbiage pitching thei rown stuff), it is almost ALWAYS mentioned with Harvard Business School (until recently, when someone decided to change it to "Harvard Business School did not write..." )

So I honestly can't tell WHO wrote the list where. The earliest mention I can find is from 1998, but that appears to be a comment spam, not a real article. The first reliable mention of the first list appears to date from 2001, where it was already attributed to Harvard Business School. 

The content seem to be cribbed from multiple sources though. And it's a lot of bogosity. 

1) Do most MLM business fail within 18 months? 

PROBABLY FALSE:  US Census data shows that 72% of business started in 1992 is still running in 1996. If MLM businesses fail within 18 months of launch, then it means it has an ABNORMALLY HIGH failure rate. 

2) Do you need unique and consumable products? 

PARTIAL TRUTH:  ANY business need a product, but consumability and uniqueness are NOT required. Commodities are not unqiue, and jewelry are not consumable, yet you will find both being sold through MLM. Consumable products has better chance of attracting repeat customers, but that's not unique to MLM. Uniqueness may allow the product to be sold at a higher price, thus higher profitability, but Amway has long pioneered selling everyday items for equivalent prices, and many other companies have followed. And uniqueness can be established through marketing a "brand name". 

3) Do you need to get in at "ground floor" opportunity? 

PARTIAL TRUTH: if a business can only make you prosper by getting in at 'ground level' instead of hard work, then it's not a fair business, is it? MLM often touts itself as being your own boss, where you work for yourself, not your boss. But if all your hard work is simply making your upline money (he gets to sit back and relax and let you do all the heavy lifting)  and the only difference between you and him is he got there first (i.e. joined at "ground floor")  is that really what MLM is all about? 

In conclusion, the lists are a mix of partial truths and lies, dressed up to legitimize network marketing through deception. 

Don't you repeat one of these myths. 

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70 comments:

  1. Good stuff. It's high time the myths are exposed. I really appreciate the in depth research that appears to have been conducted in order to verify the points suggested in this article. Thank you.
    Cynthia Basinger

    ReplyDelete
  2. and why dint she get a lawswit, and she still has it on her page, sorry but i dont trust you either

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome to check the sources I cited, and make up your own mind. Unlike her, I do cite/link my sources.

      Delete
    2. http://www.harvard.edu/searches?searchtext=Network%20Marketing

      Did you see this link? People Go to the Harvard website and type MLM in the search Box, Do your own investigation, what is this guy selling to unsuspecting people, who is he trying to dupe? As you can see in this link, there are quite a few network marketing courses available at Harvard Business School. Imagine that!
      opps I made a mistake I found another one.
      http://www.bethanylb.edu/academics/certificate-programs/network-marketing-online-certificate/course-information/

      This Looks fun!
      http://study.com/articles/Network_Marketing_Degree_Program_Information.html

      And let's hear what Forbes Magazine has to say about it!
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/chicceo/2012/09/27/is-mlm-a-bad-word/

      And Bethany college Strikes again
      http://www.business-opportunities.biz/2014/09/04/a-college-degree-in-multi-level-marketing-2/

      Delete
    3. Thanks for proving that you didn't read my article. Bethany College was cited IN my article.

      As for this Harvard link you "found", it's a search engine link, and it yielded only FOUR results, 3 of them are course papers, and one is a general description. None of your links prove that Harvard Business School actually "teach" MLM.

      It's pretty obvious you're just ranting and raving. Thanks for playing.

      Delete
    4. It seems you didn't even notice that Harvard University (harvard.edu) and Harvard Business School (hbs.edu) are separate schools. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

      Delete
  3. tell us why HBS didnt deny this information ...id like to see this instead your article.....in fact that what im searching in google

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't believe the AP article I linked? :)

      Let's put it this way... Can you find anything in hbs.edu that says they teach network marketing?

      I can't. There's "social network marketing", but that's not the same thing.

      Next question?

      Delete
    2. The fact of the matter is, there will always be an opinion and formula to each business structure, endeavor, scam, or whatever the hell you want to label it, based on one's bad experience or loss in such.....However, MLM is not a bad system when you understand how it works. It's simply the art of working the system. Some people abuse the system with lies and schemes, but there are others who sincerely work the system. I agree with this article in terms of the stand for integrity in marketing, but as an MLM professional, I have to put a stop to the bad publicity on the misused term "Pyramid Scheme". The truth is, a persons Job is a Pyramid Scheme! A Pyramid Scheme is something that only and I do put an emphasis on ONLY the person at the top makes all the money. In MLM, the person at the Bottom can make just as much as the one at the Top. So let's just lay off of the good business MLMer's regarding terms like Scheme and Pyramid etc..... Call if for what it is if you are going to call it. The Political System in America is a Pyramid Scheme! The Western Civilization Churches are more or less Pyramid Schemes! Go after some of the entities that's ruining our nation as a whole Financially.

      "THAT'S ALL I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT"

      ~FORREST GUMP

      Delete
    3. Your comment makes no logical sense. If a person is at the bottom of MLM, he's NOT making commission and thus CANNOT be making NEARLY as much as people on top.

      If you mean he can EVENTUALLY make money as those on the top, that means he's NO LONGER at the bottom!

      You're also ignoring the LEGAL DEFINITION of a pyramid scheme, but instead using whatever "idealized" definition you have in your mind.

      I never said all MLMs are pyramid schemes, unlike some other anti-MLMers. Perhaps you need to find better aim for your random rants.

      Delete
    4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    5. You spammed your email AND two links to your Organo Gold biz presentation. That's why your comment got nuked. Have a nice day.

      Delete
    6. Oh, and it's interesting you can't tell the difference between Harvard University and Harvard Business School.

      When you bark, can you please bark up the right tree?

      Delete
  4. Actually, the writer of this blog is full of shit. I am 17 years old and have successfully generated over $100,000 in sales volume in Network Marketing,I guarantee I am more credible than the oh so spontaneous writer of this blog...

    To whoever the writer of this blog is 1) learn how to read better 2) don't be so spiteful about sourcing information, it makes you look desperate attention.

    the TRUTH about the Harvard Business School & their philosophy on Network Marketing, the CITE OF INFORMATION, is NOT that they "Teach" network marketing [ and any educated business owner in MLM knows this ] rather they have developed a CRITERIA of a GOOD NETWORK MARKETING COMPANY.

    1) The company must be at least 18 months old
    2) The company must have a product that is unique and highly consumable
    3) For those who wish to participate in very high amounts of financial revenue gains, it needs to be a "Ground Floor Opportunity" about .5% of the population of where the company exists.


    I work with a Global Network Marketing company. Don't try to bullshit people, I guarantee you I understand business better than you and I will have this website shut down and removed if I see anymore garbage.

    -Raynier Myers, Social Media Kingpin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If they did create these 3 criteria, IN WHAT STUDY did they publish it?

      Apparently you can't find the source either, yet you decide to crap about how crappy my research is?

      Some "kingpin" you are. More like pinprick.


      Delete
  5. Kasey Chang, "Social Network Marketing" is a combination of Network Marketing and Social Media. Stop feeding bullshit to the world and understand Business & Economics a little bit more before you decide to set foot in MY industry.
    -Raynier Myers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your research is shockingly inadequate, one wonders how can ANYONE take you seriously. Any Google search for "HBS Social network marketing" would have told you HBS considers that term to mean "(regular) marketing via social network", not network marketing via social media.

      http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6187.html

      It seems you enjoy posting nonsense. Got any more?

      Delete
  6. Number 2- social network marketing

    http://www.hbs.edu/doctoral/areas-of-study/marketing/Pages/default.aspx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you bother reading the link I gave in the comment above? Apparently not! Thanks for trying!

      Delete
    2. Get him he is dishonest in his review he did not look for the information to disprove his own work. he cannot be relied on for accurate and complete discolsure.
      http://www.harvard.edu/searches?searchtext=Network%20Marketing

      Did you see this link? People Go to the Harvard website and type MLM in the search Box, Do your own investigation, what is this guy selling to unsuspecting people, who is he trying to dupe? As you can see in this link, there are quite a few network marketing courses available at Harvard Business School. Imagine that!
      opps I made a mistake I found another one.
      http://www.bethanylb.edu/academics/certificate-programs/network-marketing-online-certificate/course-information/

      This Looks fun!
      http://study.com/articles/Network_Marketing_Degree_Program_Information.html

      And let's hear what Forbes Magazine has to say about it!
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/chicceo/2012/09/27/is-mlm-a-bad-word/

      And Bethany college Strikes again
      http://www.business-opportunities.biz/2014/09/04/a-college-degree-in-multi-level-marketing-2/

      Delete
    3. Did you actually *read* the link you provided? Only first four results even discuss network marketing, one's "area of study", which means they may "cover" network marketing, the others are study of direct sales in the form of MLM, as part of ONE course (CS286?) At best, one course as a part of marketing.

      As for Bethany College, did you BOTHER reading my article? I cited Bethany college TWO YEARS ago, in this article. You had to go FIND it? This just proves that you didn't bother actually READING this article. Thanks for playing the "angry ranter"!

      Delete
  7. As someone who has talked to various marketing professors and PhD marketing graduates, I have been told that the methods of social network marketing and network marketing are almost identical. It relies on the distribution of products via word of mouth. Kasey, what are your credentials?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Social network is still a type of network.

      The original question is "Does HBS teach network marketing" and the answer is they don't.

      That other guy tried to claim "social network marketing" is same as network marketing and thus tried to refute the answer.

      The fact remains that "social network + marketing" does NOT equal to "network marketing" aka "multi-level marketing".

      Don't move the goalpost, or raise irrelevant questions, as it indicates a weakness in your debate position.

      Delete
    2. Yes they do and they are not alone
      http://www.harvard.edu/searches?searchtext=Network%20Marketing

      Did you see this link? People Go to the Harvard website and type MLM in the search Box, Do your own investigation, what is this guy selling to unsuspecting people, who is he trying to dupe? As you can see in this link, there are quite a few network marketing courses available at Harvard Business School. Imagine that!
      opps I made a mistake I found another one.
      http://www.bethanylb.edu/academics/certificate-programs/network-marketing-online-certificate/course-information/

      This Looks fun!
      http://study.com/articles/Network_Marketing_Degree_Program_Information.html

      And let's hear what Forbes Magazine has to say about it!
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/chicceo/2012/09/27/is-mlm-a-bad-word/

      And Bethany college Strikes again
      http://www.business-opportunities.biz/2014/09/04/a-college-degree-in-multi-level-marketing-2/

      Delete
    3. Did you actually bother READING the link you provided?

      It's a SEARCH engine for papers published in Harvard as well as course descriptions. Only the first FOUR results even touch network marketing, and none of them are a COURSE of network marketing. At best, it's ONE assignment within a course.

      Yes, I am well aware of Bethany College's certificate program. It's not even a degree. I also know of one OTHER college that teaches network marketing, but I'll leave it to you for find that.

      Delete
    4. Furthermore... You cited Harvard University. I was talking about Harvard Business School. Related, but NOT THE SAME THING.

      Thanks for not paying attention. Makes debating you effortless.

      Delete
  8. So many biased opinions. I'm not even going to hit on them all as it's a waste of my time, if anyone reading wants to believe them then that's on their shoulders. Sure, your research is extensive, but you've still angled everything towards trashing our industry, or "scheme" as you say. You've clearly joined then quit or never attempted network marketing. Rayneir Myers provides excellent points and your response of immaturity resulting to name calling shows your stability in your argument. Just because this industry didn't work for you doesn't mean you need to turn others away from their possible success with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't need me to "trash" your industry. Your colleagues have been doing that for the past few decades doing that with lies and misrepresentations, and this "Harvard teaches MLM" is just one of those lies told to prop up your industry.

      I do NOT deny that your industry has made a few people rich... But how many people are POORER because of MLM?

      And you assumed. I never was in any MLM. I just study it. Thus, you just proved that you rely on assumption instead of facts.

      Thanks for playing.

      Delete
    2. Assumed? Sentence #4: "You've clearly joined then quit or NEVER attempted network marketing." Put away your ignorance for a few moments and read into what has actually been said.

      True, some colleagues "trash" our industry, but those who claim Harvard teaches MLM are pure fools and ignorant within their own profession. Harvard has developed three criteria for network marketing, but they do not teach it, nor does any university in the simple fact that it would cause their enrollments to drop severely.

      A few people rich? It's the second highest producer of millionaires in the world, directly behind professional athletics. As for those who failed, was it really MLM? I suck at golf, so should no one play golf anymore? I may start my own hate blog even though I don't play. Everyone has the same comp plan, products, tools, etc. within their particular company, it's up to the individual to use them as the industry is performance based. How many people are poorer trying to get fit? They drop money on a gym, food, supplements, etc. yet give up when the lifting starts to get rough or life gets in the way. I guess no one can ever be a body builder or aesthetically pleasing, or only the select few for that matter, since the gym is causing everyone who quit or "failed" to be broke.

      You're welcome, I enjoy this game. Not to pursuade you in any way, just to show others that one simple claim that has been blown out of proportion by certain marketers does not make this entire industry a "scheme" whether your ignorance states so or not.

      Delete
    3. I'm close enough to network marketing that I know how it's played. You just can't attack my logic so you try to pick at my "credentials". It's known as "ad hominem" attack. Try again. Attack the argument, not the arguer.

      Harvard has developed 3 criteria? Got any proof other than network marketing speeches? Or is that a tautology?

      I believe network marketing is due for some major "clean-up", due to amount of shady behavior it had been hiding over the past few decades that allowed such bull**** such as "Harvard teaches MLM" to perpetuate. There may (or may not) be some honest network marketing companies out there, but that doesn't validate the entire industry, just as your claim that a few bad apples doesn't spoil the whole industry.

      Yet how often do you hear about the bad apples of the industry other than FTC closing somebody? Apparently, not often enough.

      Delete
    4. It doesn't matter how close you are. I wouldn't take basketball advice from a hockey player, no matter how official they seem. As far as the ad hominem is considered, don't be so hypocritical in your statements as you seemed to ride close to that line with Raynier above. Your argument begins by taking apart the HBS lie that spreads with valid points and links and I never said that was false, but you close by offering your own input on the three criteria and their validity. If this argument is to remain unbiased from your opinions, research both sides of the story, come to a clear decision from both aspects of research as opposed to starting with a negative mindset, and leave yourself clear of attacks or rebuttals. Clearly, by your other posts and comments, the entire blog has an underlying negativity towards any MLM ever.

      You also left out whether or not you believe it is MLM's or the individual's fault for their resulting poverty. No, not every MLM is valid, but those that are have a terrible image from the others that do result in scams or from the individuals that decide to post all their negativity for the world to see.

      In my personal opinion, I believe the three criteria have come from Dr. Charles King who did graduate from Harvard, but never taught there and is a prominent supporter of the network marketing industry. Did Harvard themselves actually develop them? Given that it's quite difficult to find actual direct statements, most likely not. But that doesn't make the criteria false either way. The whole "Harvard" attachment is, as you stated, most likely a way to attempt added validity because so many people have a flooded mind of negativity of our industry. It's a last ditch effort that some resort to to help the ignorant see. Unbeknownst to these marketers, people like that and like you obviously want no part of our profession and are better left unbothered.

      As far as this is concerned, you clearly win every argument with your wife and anyone else in your life because you are so bullheaded and set in stone on an answer. Have fun saving the world through your anti-MLM blog posts, there will still be plenty of others who find success in this "scheme" and plenty of others like you. Have a great life and I wish you success in whatever you do, I'm done commenting on this post.

      Delete
    5. Do you have any proof that Charles King developed those three criteria, and do you have any idea who started the rumor?

      Yes, this blog exposes the "dark side" of MLM that few MLM participants talk about (except those are soured by it, and the few skeptics and critics who are sounding the alarm) However, I don't condemn the entire industry, unlike some of the others out there. I am quite clear with the faults I see on whether they are ENDEMIC to the system, or merely limited to specific companies, or otherwise, shady promotional tactics (such as spreading lies about HBS and MLM for "legitimacy")

      I did analyze the 3 criteria and found them to be 1 lie and 2 partial truths. Thus, it's MOSTLY bogus and all misleading. And you don't really provide any evidence to prove me wrong other than you *think* Charles King developed them.

      As you said, a few bad apples doesn't spoil the industry. Thus, a few success stories doesn't validate the industry either.

      And this sort of shady behavior, i.e. tack on some bogus source of legitimacy, doesn't balance the "flood of negativity" you claim exists. It only creates even MORE negativity when the lies are exposed. You can't build a solid foundation on lies.

      Furthermore, this "flood of negativity" is due to MLM trying to intersect market norm and personal norm, something most people avoid as a social blunder, yet MLM encourages. It's NOT due to a few critics and many many more alleged victims. Of course, that'd be what the industry leaders WANT you to believe... that there's nothing wrong with the MLM system itself, and any problems can be blamed on the participants (they did it wrong)... and critics/detractors (they just don't understand).

      As for "winning" arguments, the matter of fact is I can better support my side of the argument... and you can't. Has nothing to do with my "bullheaded-ness". It could be that I'm simply armed with more facts and logical arguments than you are, but that's easily remedied with a bit more Google-fu.

      Or perhaps I understand your system more than you do, despite me having never participated.

      It's interesting that you see me as an "enemy" of MLM. I simply want people going into MLM to go into it with eyes wide open and aware of all the risks and potential problems.

      Or perhaps you are looking for sheeple, with their eyes wide shut?

      Delete
    6. Charles W. King, a professor at University of Illinois, is a MLM proponent, and does teach a course on it there. He's also a Harvard Business School grad. However "they" don't tell you is his wife is a NuSkin rep and he's asked to create that course by his wife's upline Yarnell.

      I have no comment on his views as I have not read them.

      Delete
    7. You are guilty of the crime of murder for killing of the dreams and futures of so many who could have prospered in Network Marketing if not for your highly biased blog.. you have stole the food off of the table of may children by killing some peoples dream of a better life. I bet you will not take any responsibility for the potentially great lives of so many. In the past such reporting ativity was refered to as "Yellow Journalism" bet you won't post any of my blogs or even visit the pages and see the teaching of network marketing is coming into its own as a viable way for ordinary people to learn how to become a millionaire by developing a millionaires mindset, Like it or not in the next ten years many well know companies will turn to network marketing to deliver its products directly to the customer and give that personal touch that big corporations cannot. it is the American business wave of the future and it has come ashore in America. Get use to it. Hint: Nothing you say or do will turn this tide, and millions of people are going to become wealthy despite you and people like you who seek to murder peoples hopes and dreams and you do it shamelessly and with no remorse. As I watch people come in deep in debt (as much as $100,000) and are finally able to start paying down their debt , many eliminating it, and finally have money in the bank. buying cars they never thought they would own, buying homes they never thought they could afford, let alone paying cash in full. paying off tuition debt and putting their children through college. I love watching people enjoying the wealth that Network Marketing brings them. It's just like a franchise but without the large price tag. Find some positive things to say, share the success stories of network marketing. Here is one those peoplehere

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/eye1i3u5rf3ufqf/_%20Organo%20Gold%20Presentation%20by%20Demond%20Crump%2028%20day%20Diamond%20in%20Sacramento%20_%20YouTube.mp4?dl=0

      Delete
    8. Your high-sounding grandiose speech and the sort of dreamy attitude is best suited for sheeple who want dreams instead of reality. Unfortunately, dreams don't put food on the table.

      Your Organo Gold coffee is overpriced when compared to Organo Gold's own gano capsules and recommended dose is 5 packets a day, assuming each packet actually contains 250 mg (of what, exactly? dried Gano powder?)

      http://amlmskeptic.blogspot.com/2013/01/is-organo-gold-healthier-coffee-or-just.html

      So you're basically pay more for bad coffee. Enjoy.

      Delete
  9. I agree with what you said. I know that they don't teach network marketing; however, social network marketing, or social network + marketing as you say, are almost exactly identical. I can provide sources (professors and PhD grads like I said before) who agree with such.

    You still dodged my last question, though. What are your credentials

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While I can appreciate opinion of some people who may have better credentials than I do, I want to see their reasoning for making such a comparison between marketing social network vs. MLM. Are they aware of the "baggage" (connotation) that comes with MLM? How the product "buzz" spreads may be similar, the way participants are COMPENSATED surely are not similar.

      My "credentials" are in my About Page. As stated before, never was in any MLM. I just study them.

      Delete
    2. you cannot do an accurately and adequately study of it from outside and deride those who have partaken of it. I have been a part of it for 22 years, and I find many of the things you say are out of pure ignorance on the subject, because you get your information from people who are ignorant of Network Marketing, no matter what their credentials are They have never built a successful business or failed at any to be an authority. how easy we believe people who only seek out that which supports there claim and when people who have the working knowledge come in and effectively dismantle his claims he get's hostile. I started n Amway and did not make a lot of money, but I gave it five years. I'll give any opportunity at least three years before I move on. I finally found the right one for me, it's easy and simple. Were the other opportunities bad, No, I just could not make it work for me, because I did not change my mindset. I'll be honest and not blame Network Marketing for my failure, like most people who fail. If I thought the industry was as bad as you make it I would have quit like a loser and went back to being some ones slave, pouting and blaming Network Marketing. But I have the best mentor in the industry of Network Marketing. In less than 6 years he has moved to #2 in top earnings worldwide. we have a guy with a fourth grade education that is a top earner after only 5 years who has passed Amway Guru Bill Britt. In fact in the next 2 or three years our distributors will dominate the top 100 all time high earners on that list and many of them are not yet in the business. You know negative people hate good news. I learned that I was born to win. and everyone reading this you were born to win. Encouragement vs. discouragement; readers you decide

      Delete
    3. Your logic is idiotic. I have to catch a cold to be a cold expert? Muahahahahaha.

      You are a slave to network marketing. You just won't admit it to yourself. That's your delusion of power. It won't put food on your table though.

      Delete
  10. Interesting that not every reply gets posted...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Interesting that some people expect me to be active 24 hours a day 7 days a week approving comments seconds after they get posted.

      Delete
  11. interesting that those that are questioning you are posting as "anonymous"

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    1. I don't mind. :) They know who they are. :D A fool can use any name s/he wants. S/he still sounds like a fool.

      Delete
  12. I have been researching MLMs and their claim that HBS is the only school who teaches the subject, as a Economics Business Graduate from Cornell University I found this claim to be far fetched and wanted to see what was out there regarding the subject. Thanks for posting this.

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  13. Who is the author of this article?; I would like to know his name; probably is a person who couldn't do anything in this marvelous Life. I follow to the rich people Trump / Kiyosaki, people who fight for their dreams and made it.

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    1. Who is the author of this comment? His name is rare except some blog in Peru that hadn't been updated in a year or two. Probably some MLM junkie who got sore at all the scams he's involved in keep getting busted and want to blame someone else rather than his own "due diligence".

      Kiyosaki wasn't rich because he knows how to manage money. He's rich because he sold ADVICE (to people like you) who believe he knows more than you do.

      Trump was rich before he got started. His father was a real estate developer. He only made it bigger. He didn't start from nothing.

      Pick at least someone you *can* emulate.

      Delete
  14. nice sharing blog for mlm distributers i am working monavie
    past 2 years and doing good working heard and having spurote for upline and guiding downline too thnaks for your blog shairing this would gona help me in my next seminar get some idea form this blog
    thnakyou very much

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    1. As long as you understand my points and don't use the bad arguments I have no problem MLMers applying them to their trade. They may learn something... such as don't spread misinformation and learn to fact-check stuff before repeating them.

      Delete
  15. I think it's ridiculous that Multi-level Marketing is not being taught in higher education schools including Harvard. You don't become a doctor, lawyer, engineer, educator without going to schools to get your degree. Network marketing/mulit-level marketing is a profession. As in the job titles I mentioned above, there are those individuals that are professionals and those that are not. Part of the problem with MLM is the perception of the industry. MLM helps individuals create wealth by using some of the greatest wealth principles including "time leveraging" and "Residual Income". As John Paul Getty said " I would rather make 1% of 100 people's efforts than 100% of my own." If you are an employee, I hate to be the first to tell you, but you are being leveraged. Yes, the company may be paying you a salary or commissions, but the company is making more off your efforts than what they are paying you or they would let you go. Network marketing is basically franchising yourself. You get paid for showing other people how to do what you did. McDonald's, Subway, Coldwell Banker, Re/Max, Verizon, Sprint, etc are all successful franchises. These franchises have a very high franchise fee...you need a lot of money to purchase the franchise and then have high monthly overhead costs. Along with the monthly overhead, you have employees you are responsible for hiring, training, managing, etc. Network Marketing/Multi-level marketing allows you to franchise your business without the high costs associated with tradition business. Therefore, in my opinion Network Marketing/Multi-level marketing is a genius business model. A problem with the industry is that there isn't formal education on what helps people be successful in network marketing which is why I think there is a great need for this in our education systems. The wealth principles I mentioned above should be taught before a child graduates from high school.

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    1. It may surprise you, but I do NOT hate MLM. I am merely SKEPTICAL of the business model, and the various myths and lies about it and around it.

      MLM is often COMPARED to franchising, but they are actually quite different, and governed by very different laws. Furthermore, Franchising is 10 times larger than MLM despite having started at about the same time.

      Teaching money sense is fine, but I have problem teaching MLM in school. It'll probably have to be a college level course in marketing.

      What people really need to learn in MLM are the case laws... such as what is a pyramid scheme (and why MLM is not a pyramid scheme... not the DSA's PR version, but what really makes them different).

      Delete
    2. American government (don't remember the department or agency) has issued circular to make general public aware of the difference between a network marketing company and a pyramid scheme. that legitimize the REAL network marketing industry.

      Delete
  16. Well when the person at the bottom creates the same volume as a top earner, he will make the same money and all the bonuses as the top earner and will no longer be on the bottom financially only structurally; in network marketing there are positions for everyone on every level. unlike a corporation where you can work there all your life and never reach the top of the pay scale!

    You see in network marketing your position in the structure has absolutely no correlation to the amount of money earn by creating volume. in corporation what is the criteria for advancement , experience, years on the job, does the boss like you, does the CEO even know your name? education level, work ethic, and more hurdles jump over, hoops to jump through and mazes to navigate; all the time making your CEO wealthy and you stay poor. His raise alone is more than you make in two years. Now if you miss one gate, one turn, one jump, and your back at the starting line.

    The criteria for advancement in network marketing VOLUME! that's it. In corporations no matter how hard you work and how much you give on that level, there is a ceiling (the amount the company is willing to pay) to how much you can earn, you are limited. And by extension the corporation dictate your lifestyle; you place your future and the future of your family into the hands of a stranger who makes decision that affects your family without your consent or advice... you don't Matter! In Network Marketing, you are given the reigns of your own life and an opportunity to be free financially. After a while you are no longer afraid of the phone ringing and a nasty collector berating you from the other end, because your job does not pay you enough to pay all your bills and save. In net work Marketing you are in a ring fighting off poverty and given the tools you need and the mentorship you crave, with millionaires teaching you how to succeed. In fact 0ne of my mentors is the # two guy in all of network marketing and he's ready to over take the number one guy (see businessforhome.com) because people at the bottom are making money In my 22 years of network marketing, I have never seen the success of so many so fast it blew my mind.

    Please do not mistake the Network Marketing structure with a corporate structure, they might look the same, but they operate opposite one another
    In fact we pay the new (entry level) people up to four bonuses as we help them create the volume they need to advance. In corporate it's dog eat dog. This is the reality I see every day and Network Marketing has never looked so good. and it's only improving more and more with each passing year.

    So please get some balance in your blog, you could make this something great if you would tell the whole story not just the dirty filthy stuff, but the clean and wholesome side, I dare you to do right by your readers. From the very first time I could see the power of network marketing it is why I remained in it for over 22 years. I knew I just had to find the organization, with the right leadership/mentorship and the number one product that is so perfect for network marketing no matter how you look at it. YES I did find it! And my life will never be the same again. Here is one of our success stories.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/eye1i3u5rf3ufqf/_%20Organo%20Gold%20Presentation%20by%20Demond%20Crump%2028%20day%20Diamond%20in%20Sacramento%20_%20YouTube.mp4?dl=0

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    1. Are you just here to spam that Organo Gold Link, at least twice?

      Here, let me balance out your spam with some FACTUAL NEWS:

      Italian Authorities Fine Organo Gold and others for false claims

      http://www.agcm.it/en/newsroom/press-releases/2136-ps7621-ps8171-ps8202-pyramid-sales-antitrust-starts-investigation-on-multi-level-illegal-sales-and-applies-sanctions-to-vemma-italia-asea-italy-and-organo-gold-europe-for-improper-commercial-practices-with-fines-equal-to-total-500000-euros.html

      Organo Gold asked by DSA to stop claiming to be "pending member", brews up more controversy

      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/multi-level-coffee-marketer-organo-gold-brews-up-controversy/

      Delete
  17. Kasey, I do network marketing and I'm pretty new at it. I really like sharing and helping poeple with products that I feel can help others as well as the lifestyle of not working for a CEO, His managers, their supervisors, and their empoyee solidiers. In my mind, that is the REAL pyramid scheme. Harvard may not teach MLM in their curriculum, but at the growing rate of this industry, perhaps they should. May I ask, are you personally earning an MLM income? What is your personal take on MLM? I apologize you may have already commented on this but I did only skimmed through most of them after a while. Thanks for helping MLM -ers make truthful statements.

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    1. If you redefine reality against the laws and regulation you're not going to last very long in the real world, and you attempt to malign the regular corporate world as "that is the real pyramid scheme" is just a lame ad hominem.

      The answer to your question is in my FAQ section.

      Delete
  18. I find when taking advise from someone I look at how they introduce the information and how much emotion they use when explaining their view. Can they show a level head and can admit when they are wrong. This blog is riddle with emotion almost as though the writer was busting as the seam to prove their worth. When you know what you're posting about is factual you keep a level head because you have the truth on your side. When you become heated or heavy handed with rude comments you know they have lost the argument. With that being said, I continued on my search and went to the source. Harvard Business School cites articles about MLM / Network Marketing but I couldn't find a class on it.

    I did check Harvard University and found a class, which was also recorded. You can check it out here.

    http://crcs.seas.harvard.edu/event/yuval-emek-mechanisms-multi-level-marketing

    The reality is I can't confirm if Harvard came up with that criteria but what I can say as someone who has multiple businesses that's pretty solid advise.

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    1. I personally don't see why you consider the article to be NOT level headed, but it's perhaps I wrote it.

      The "class" you referred to is a one hour seminar where a computer science guy used multi-level marketing as an example of existing "reward mechanism" to created a balanced system. it's actually not about MLM, but rather, system design. In other words, it doesn't teach MLM, it teaches system design using MLM as a case study (i.e. pros and cons)

      Interesting find though. Thanks for sharing.

      Delete
    2. Two additional points to make

      1) If you read the end of my blog post, I explained that half of assertions are from "Wave 3" book, the other three are proven to be at best, half-truths.

      2) I actually watched the entire video, and the guy actually never discussed multi-level marketing. He actually discussed referral marketing but mixed with MLM terminology like downlines (he called them "descendents"), where participants earned commission on referred sales, and does not sell products personally like in true MLM. Most of the talk is about how the referral system works, and how it is vulnerable to shilling (sybil attacks / sockpuppeting ) and how mechanisms can be tweaked by parameters in the "geometric reward mechanism"

      In other words, it's not about MLM, but about a THEORETICAL model of something that resembles a mix of MLM and referral marketing. It doesn't teach MLM.

      He even equated MLM to pyramid scheme multiple times. Not exactly a sounding endorsement of the MLM world.

      Delete
  19. Dr. Charles W. King teaches marketing at the University of Illinois Chicago. He received his doctorate from Harvard University. It does appear he teaches aspects of Networking Marketing as part of his marketing curriculum at UIC. http://business.uic.edu/docs/default-source/managerial-studies-cvs/king_cv_may-13.pdf?sfvrsn=2

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    1. I am aware of Dr. C W King's curriculum. The point is nobody had tied him to these supposedly "Harvard Business School" study that MLMers had been touting for YEARS.

      Rumor has it that his wife is a MLMer. I haven't checked that yet.

      Delete
  20. Demond Crump and David Imonitie are examples of people whose professions were actually perspectively, car detailer and college student. Both built multi-million dollar networks without any relative start up money or influence. You may not be a fan of the industry, but there are several people who have made 6 and 7 figure incomes from network marketing and following the principles that it teaches. If you really want your point to come off as imprudent and actually informative, don't take such a bashing approach, because there have been more millionaires made from network marketing than any other industry.

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    1. You're so off topic you're in orbit around Mars. This topic is about a MLM Myth being busted, not about "MLM bashing". When you rebut, at least be on topic.

      Delete
  21. First off I respect the time you took to write all this. But in order for you to be more credible and trusted, you can't go by the name like amlmskeptic. I can go make a website like agovernmentskeptic or afastfoodskeptic. Secondly, have you been involved with an mlm company previously? Have you joined at the very beginning stages of the company and failed? Sounds like to me you must have joined a well known company that's been around for years and failed. To be honest and helpful for your cause, you definitely need to prove that mlm does not work and prove it. Otherwise you may appear to be a troll. Best wishes and I'll see you at the top!

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    1. I am a skeptic, not a critic. It appears that you are thinking of somebody else.

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  22. I am currently in a start up that is what the standard for mlm should be. true ethics and upfront about the expectations. I have also watch many people become wealthy within a years time of joining, others have joined and quit and some such as my self are chugging along and learning and slowly implementing the thing we need to learn to be successful. This is truly a great industry its just got a high failure rate as would law or medical school if it where so easy to get involved. I know keep going because I know with time I will become successful. You have to be willing to fail and keep going even when everything tells you to quit. successful people don't let failure stop them. don't stop 3 feet from gold.
    Sure there are bad companies out there but they don't represent all. I'm sure you have had bad relationships before but I bet that didn't stop you from dating again.
    I am sorry you feel the way you do about MLM

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    1. It seems you assumed I feel a certain way about MLM.

      I am a skeptic. Feelings would get in my way to finding the truth.

      I am sorry you are deluded into thinking that I have apparently negative feelings about MLM. You may want to reevaluate your own mindset, treating criticism and skepticism as "negativity".

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    2. Criticism and skepticism stems from fear. Do your research since youre good at it and join a legitimate mlm company and go have fun!!!

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    3. If you equate criticism with skepticism, you're the one who's living in fear. Skepticism means "looking for evidence and proof, whether positive or negative.". It seems you are simply not willing to see negative information, and why would you be afraid of the truth? Perhaps those "legitimate" mlm companies are not as legitimate as you suspect? Is that why you can't tolerate criticism and skepticism?

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  23. Fact is Harvard Business School used one of the top MLM company in the world as study material to teach exponential business marketing concept. Maybe there have been students doing research on MLM as final year paper or something. But there definitely was no record of the school itself doing any official research on MLM, etc

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