I’ll never forget my introduction to the concept of “multi-level marketing.” An instructional designer who worked for me invited my wife and me to dinner. She dropped the hint that she and her husband also wanted to tell me about their new business.
I was naive. I didn’t know that “Let me tell you about my business” translates into “Let me prey on our friendship to convert you into a soap distributor so you can make money off your friends the same way we’re going to try to make money off of you.” That night we got the whole Amway pitch, right down to motivators like sticking a picture of the car you really deserve to drive on the fridge. The great thing was, you didn’t really have to sell any soap. The real money came from signing up other distributors. Let them degrade themselves twisting the arms of friends and relatives to buy soap while you were busy creating fresh soap entrepreneurs throughout your social circle.
Some people love this stuff. I’m skeptical of any business with a murky value proposition. To me, multi-level marketing is little more than a demonstration of the greater fool theory in action.
Well, I suppose it had to happen. Today an email tipped me off to a new method of distributing eLearning. You guessed it: multi-level marketing.
Elearn Express only wants $400 up front, most of which you’ll get back, to give you $1,000 worth of eLearning courseware and the opportunity to earn untold thousands of dollars by setting up a distribution network. When your network is in its ninth generation, it will have enrolled nearly 30,000 learners and you’ll put $88,914 in the bank.
Why didn’t SmartForce or Pensare think of this?
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