Len Cements – I appreciate your respectful and well considered response to my Monitium review. Please see my responses below under each of your five “Corrections & Clarification”.
Giovanni Esposito – Thank you, Len. In turn, I value your responses and am pleased to develop the discussion further.
1) You use Rod Cook to bolster your case against umbrella companies of which you include Monitium. However, Rod Cook is a prominent member of the Monitium Advisory Board and would be a relevant addition to your article.
Len – I was fully aware of Mr. Cooks involvement in Monitium at the time I wrote the review. The point in my including his previous negative commentary on portfolio programs was to demonstrate Mr. Cook’s and my agreement on why such programs have never, and will never, work long term. Rather than simply point out that Mr. Cook is a consultant to Monitium, a response to this point should focus on what about Monitium makes it significantly different that all those Rod has scorned in the past.
G – It is clear your approach was to use Rod Cook to demonstrate mutual agreement that umbrella companies will never work long term. However, it would be difficult to reconcile an ideological agreement with Rod Cook that Monitium could never work knowing that Rod is not only a “consultant”, but also an active participant in a core role of Monitium’s company plan as final arbiter as described in the Strategic Alliance Agreement. After all, as Rod Cook was so negative on the umbrella company concept, it says something for him to be now so involved in this particular umbrella company.
A point this also raises is pivotal to your argument, that because previous attempts failed, all others will also fail. Rod Cook is involved intimately with Monitium. Without that point being made, it would be difficult to suspect that he may have changed his mind about the long-term success of Monitium as distinct form previous attempts at the umbrella company concept. Now that point is made, others have the information to make of that as they will.
I appreciate your point that it is not enough on its own to reveal Rod Cook’s position with Monitium, as it does not in itself demonstrate a significant difference between Monitium and previous umbrella company approaches. Those points are discussed below.
2) It is incorrect to state that Monitium essentially dictates to a partner MLM Company how compliance is arbitrated. In fact, the final arbiter is Rod Cook. This information is found in the Strategic Alliance Agreement document linked to on the Monitium home page.
Len – Mr. Cook is only involved in this process if the member company and Monitium disagree on what actions should be taken against a distributor and all other remedies have been exhausted. Monitium’s restrictive conditions on which a member company must agree to were clearly spelled out, verbatim, within my report. These conditions appear to be non-negociable. Furthermore, the point of my criticism was that member companies were agreeing to give up a great deal of control. Whether they are giving it up to Monitium or to Mr. Cook does not invalidate my point.
G – Agreed. My intention was not to invalidate your point that MLM Partners are giving up control. It is particularly important from my point of view to be aware that there is an imbalance of control between corporate and marketers. The balance is inordinately in favor of corporate, and as evidenced by the Melaleuca law recently passed, the industry will ratify and even increase that greater control if left to its own devices. That an MLM Partner embraces the Strategic Alliance Agreement is a positive sign that such imbalance is being redressed. I appreciate you have a different view, and at another time would be pleased to discuss this further if desired.
However, the only non-negotiable aspect of the compliance follow-through is with the individual – Rod Cook. Monitium itself must abide by Rod’s decisions. The relevant extract from the Agreement: “If Company believes Monitium’s position on level of discipline is unreasonable, Company may request a 3rd party review by Industry Expert Rod Cook (MLM WatchDog Editor). If said review is requested of Rod Cook, Company and Monitium mutually agree to abide by his final decision.”
This last sentence was not part of your verbatim, and it comprises an essential condition that cannot yield an accurate representation of the value of the Strategic Alliance Agreement in being left out of your report. Such value is not only invested in Monitum’s advocacy platform, but also serves to show a distinct and first-of-a-kind difference between Monitium and all previous attempts at the umbrella company concept. Now, not only do we have Rod Cook intimately involved with Monitum’s success, but also we have a concrete point-of-difference between Monitium and the others.
3) There is a difference between Monitium going out of business to an MLM partner going out of business. A Marketer’s income (for the vastly major part) is from the MLM partner company, NOT Monitium. If Monitium passes, a Marketer’s positions in the MLM partner companies continue regardless.
Len – This is not entirely true. As was described in the review, Monitium offers a significant income opportunity themselves aside from any member company, which would very likely be the first source of income a rep receives, and the most prominent source of income in the early stages of their involvement with Monitium. Furthermore, the core of the Monitium system is their function as an administrator of all distributor movement within the system, the protection of those distributors, and the replacement of those member companies who exit the portfolio. If Monitium fails who will perform these functions?
G – Monitium’s income opportunity is intimately tied with the partner companies. Unless a marketer has joined a pre-requisite number of those partner companies, there are no additional income streams to be made. It wouldn’t do to pay a marketer who doesn’t allow a win for the partner companies, as well as for themselves. Also, that Monitium-added income is NOT immediately available to marketers until they have already worked within the Monitium system and shown reasonable growth. The guidelines are quite specific. This ensures that the most prominent source of income would be through the partner companies.
However, this brings up another point that distinguishes Monitium from others. Monitium allow for non-Monitium partner companies to be promoted from within the platform. This aspect has been part of the Monitium strategy for some time, and has only recently begun rolling out customized tools for that purpose. Of course, this aspect could not have been emphasised in your report, as they were not available at that time.
With regard to Monitium’s administration of all distributor movement within the system, I cannot be definitive, though others could respond more technically on this point. What I do know is that the system is not monopolized on the Monitium side. All partner companies have made substantial IT investments into integrating onto the same system so that true mirror-mapping of the genealogy is possible. It would be unlikely that such investment onto a cutting-edge system would be scrapped because Monitium no longer administered it. Due to the shared technology, whether Monitium continues to exist or not, the system that maintains the genealogy remains. For example, it is possible for a Monitium marketer to sponsor someone into a partner company and yet not be a Monitium member.
Here, again, we can see a concrete point-of-difference. No other umbrella companies have allowed for a system of shared technology. This technology also allows for all partner company back offices to be available from the Monitium back office portal, making it viable to manage a large number of partner companies as they become available.
4) Monitium exclude pre-existing members of a new MLM partner to take up another position with that company in Monitium.
Len – Within the paragraph that addressed this issue within my review I posed this dilemma:
“…won’t some of Monitium’s people already be a part of the company Monitium is adding to their portfolio? Then what? Not only is it against policy in the vast majority of companies to have a financial interest in more than one distributorship within that company, it would likely be a violation of that company’s fiduciary responsibility to allow the Monitium rep to build another position in competition with their original position. What about all those existing reps in the new member company that like the Monitium program and want to join it? They would have to be forbidden from doing so.”
Your response simply confirmed my conjecture. That is, reps in member companies are excluded from participating in Monitium. If I’m already in Monitium and the company I’m a rep for is added as a member company, I am forbidden from participating in that company. I posed this as a potentially serious challenge. Your response merely confirms that, in fact, this challenge exists.
G – It is a statistical possibility that at least one company in the portfolio has already been subscribed to by SOME marketers. It is less statistically likely that two companies in the portfolio are subscribed to by even ONE marketer. As the partner companies grow in number over time, the statistical possibility of being pre-subscribed to a company before it partners with Monitium becomes an almost inconsequential issue. In any case, because Monitium allows their marketers to promote ANY business using their enterprise tools, a pre-subscription to a partner company does not nullify the advantages Monitium offer to help your business. With regard to the potential benefits of accessing multiple streams of income from the remaining (and increasing number of) partner companies a Monitium member is not pre-subscribed to, the statistical possibility of being pre-subscribed to one or two partner companies is essentially irrelevant.
This also reminds me … I hear the statement that if a marketer cannot work to build for one MLM, how can they possibly manage more than one? I understand the intent of saying this is to show the inordinate challenge of working more than one MLM. But what it says to me is that if a marketer cannot work to build one MLM, then they are in the wrong industry, and they cannot be reasonably used as an example to show the inordinate challenge of managing more than one MLM. Instead, I think it reasonable to say: If a marketer is working well with one MLM, what stops him or her from working many more? I believe Monitium have also asked the same question and have provided a realistic paradigm for removing impediments to achieving multiple income streams from a portfolio of companies as shown by some of my responses here.
5) In addition to its advocacy program for Marketers, Monitium offer a comprehensive enterprise system that is being developed not only to promote partner companies, but also companies you may be involved with that are not part of Monitium’s portfolio. This is just one of the points of difference to previous (and present) umbrella companies.
Len – My review did not address aspects “being developed”, but only what was currently in place. I was also very complementary of Monitum’s support technology. However, such technology will not overcome the one most paramount flaw in any portfolio program which you failed to address. That is, if I am suppose to move to the next member company once I’ve built a group large enough to assure me a profit, why would my downline who is NOT yet in profit move with me? And if they don’t move as well, how am I in profit? Please see the section of my review that begins with the line, “The greatest flaw in the mathematics and logic…”. If this aspect cannot be defended, then how can Monitium’s system possibly work?
G – The advocacy and enterprise system has been at the core of Monitum from its inception. There is a long list to draw from which has been used in early promotional materials for the company. Additional features are being rolled out or expanded, such as the addition of the banner generation tool.
With regard to addressing the problem of making possible a multi-stream income through the Monitium system requiring your team move with you to each MLM partner: it is a similar challenge to the traditional MLM model. Each Monitium member has 3 choices: 1) join a partner, 2) not join a partner, 3) use the enterprise system to promote a non-Monitium partner company. Taking up the option of joining a company is based on the same reasoning as joining any MLM company. If one then joins that company, they begin in the same place everyone usually does when starting off, whether it be within Monitium or anywhere else within the MLM industry. Usually there is no immediate profit. The emphasis is on relationship building, education, experience, persistence and other qualities that together bring one success over time. I understand there is sometimes an expectation of get-rich-quick based on hype and unfaithful representations, but that’s not the premise here. I do not expect those I sponsor to join an opportunity because I have done so. However, there will be enough partners presented with a variety of opportunities and products that will certainly entice enough of my downline to follow me in whether there is an instant profit to be made at that time or not.
And here is where Monitium offers another point of difference and where profits can be made instantly. Because Monitium is the only company offering a true-mirrored genealogy, it allows for a permanent (initially non-active) position in ALL partner companies, indefinitely. This means that at any time a member of Monitium wishes to activate that position, they are immediately placed in their original Monitium-logged position in the genealogy, thereby allowing profits to come from those in your downline already subscribed to the partner company, even though they may have been subscribed months or years before you.
The other point of difference that also addresses the issue of profit is the 3rd option mentioned above. A Monitium member need not limit themselves to Monitium partner companies to profit from Monitium membership. Because non-Monitium companies are also catered for, a marketer’s work and potential profits in that company can be augmented by use of the Monitium Success System.
Respectfully – G