Obituary. Old School Dies at 50.


Part III of III parts.

Old School network marketing (aka Old School MLM), the business model that gave millions of average people an opportunity to own their own business, died on Wednesday in cyberspace. It is believed he was about 50.

Old School died of complications from a terminal image problem and a misguided focus on big money. He had been ill for some years, weakened by excessive recruiting, mercenary tactics and customer neglect. Doctors identified the most harmful tactics that accelerated the spread of the fatal image: hype, promising quick money, telling half-truths, and selling out friendships.

Old School thrived during periods of economic recession, giving hope to millions of people. Some made fortunes, and their rags-to-riches stories drew millions seeking theirs.

Although most Old School students did not realize the promise of big money, many earned a little. More importantly, they found an occupation that gave meaning to their lives through the benefits of a product or service they believed in and loved.

Many formed new social networks they’ve enjoyed for years. Many got their health back from the products they used. Many basked in recognition they had never experienced before. They called the opportunity that Old School gave them “living the dream.”

The nutritional supplements boom got a jump start from Old School’s marketing momentum. The majority of new supplements were introduced by network marketers who educated a public that had been raised on medication and surgery.

Despite all the good things Old School spawned, the fallout from the image cancer that had been quietly spreading for years finally overcame him. He passed attended by throngs of NM/MLM faithful.

He is survived by his 17-year old daughter New School, and her many stepchildren.

New School urges network marketers not to abandon their past, but let it help guide the future. She predicts that in time and with consistent practice in the new approaches, network marketing will become a jewel in mainstream American business.

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Is he really dead? Or will he rise from his grave as a zombie and walk among us as the living dead? We must be vigilant and ready with the wooden stakes and silver bullets and crosses. For while Old School may have passed, he may still have the unearthly power to appear again and again and again, emitting sulphurous odors from his final resting place, trudging forward with arms outstretched and eyes open. He may still devour the unwary, the untrained, the young and foolish who venture too close to this monster. Aye, he may have died, but this horrible beast could still walk the land, leaving destruction in his wake. We must remain on guard and be prepared to beat him back whenever and wherever he appears.

  • Old School MLM may have died, but the real cause of his death is still around, and all of us involved in network marketing, including New School, are at constant risk of infection.

    Like AIDS, it’s a syndrome that causes terminal infection… a combination of factors triggered by a single virus.

    Those “causes of death” listed above were symptomatic. They weren’t the REAL, underlying causes. Those hidden causes, that weaken the immune system and allow other terminal illnesses to overwhelm us, are five-fold:

    * Ignorance
    * Fear of loss (losing what we already have, or missing out on what we don’t)
    * Greed
    * Laziness
    * Gullibility (or, too often, terminal stupidity)

    If you become infected by any of these — and they’re all interconnected — you risk lowering your resistance to the other conditions that will deliver the coup de grace.


  • Robert – you set the stage for another episode…Old School rising from the grave…hehehe.

    John…I like the terminal infection syndrome…

    Glad we are all on the same page. Now to train the NEW ones in the New School ways so they never get the OS virus…

  • ‘People stay married because they want to, not because the doors are locked.’

    Whilst it’d be real easy for ‘us enlightened ones’ to become smug, let’s not forget that nobody made us do it.

  • Tom — good suggestion. Just identifying yourself and your company (one of Woma’s suggestions on the link) would be a major change for many people who advertise in the paper. I refer to the ones who won’t tell you anything about the business/job they’re advertising until after you give them YOUR information.

    I never respond to stuff where they want my info first. It’s like, YOU are advertising, YOU tell ME what you’ve got and I’ll look and tell you if I want more info. The more secretive, the quicker I hit delete.

    They’re afraid the reader will walk, of course, because of the image of the NM industry. But hiding who you are doesn’t give a good image, either. Just tell how YOU are going to make a difference out there, and see who comes to join you. Stop the BS.

    I know how I’d suggest we advertise an NM Co that has embraced the New School principles…


    Gulliver- being enlightened and acting enlightened are not yet the same, alas…

  • >being enlightened and acting enlightened are not yet the same, alas…

    Tell me about it. 😉
    Trouble is though, ‘hopeless cases with fake alibis’ we have too many pretentious holier-than-thou posers who’ll latch-onto whatever’s blowing through – and without any understanding of the base issues will carp-on as if it’s something they’ve been doing their whole life.

    >Just identifying yourself and your company (one of Woma’s suggestions on the link) would be a major change for many people who advertise in the paper.

    Don’t forget the scenario with companies like Mela-whatever who, I’m told, expressly prohibit their reps from identifying the company by name in promo material. Whilst I can understand their underlying reasons (avoid the ‘oh no – that’s mlm’ instant reaction and also stop rogue distributors making spurious claims), it’s a crappy way to do business.

    And Finklea’s getting better and better. I’ll start a magazine and give him his own regular column – far more entertaining and worthwhile than much of the other stuff that gets published. 😉

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