LulaRich — A Game B Perspective
Game B Network Marketing Series
Playing Game B
This winter when I started my Game B Network Marketing series, I spent far too much of my time writing about the game and not enough time actually playing the game.
So I took time off from writing and spent the last several months playing the network marketing game with a Game B orientation. I learned over and over again that it is Game B not Plan B — there is no blueprint for Game B.
Now the time seems ripe for some updates. Lots of insights to share from playing the MLM game with a Game B orientation, but I also have a few insights from the Amazon Prime series, LulaRich to help frame a series of new pieces.
But first a reminder of why a Game B orientation matters.
Game B — First Principles Thinking
Game B emerged out of a network of “first principles” thinkers like Jordan Hall, who first coined “Game B” according to Jim Rutt.
In his recent deepcode piece, A Novel Perspective on NFTs, Hall wrote that Nation States are rapidly losing their relevance and power, much like the once-relevant Blockbuster video, because blockchain is changing the world at digital network speed.
At the end of his thesis paragraph, Hall notes “…[NFTs] are natively able to take full advantage of the speed, distribution and efficiency of digital computation and networking. The two biggest things to happen in the world of “operating structure” . . . ever?”.
So why does it matter to Game B Network Marketing?
Because from a first principles view, networking distributes power and networks grow exponentially when the threshold conditions are right. Power can shift quickly out of the hands of the entrenched and powerful like a Blockbuster (or a Nation State) into the hands of … the billions of us with little or no power (ordinary people).
But unlike the purely digital world of NFTs and crypto, (the DNA and energy fueling the growth of the Blockchain ecosystem), network marketing offers the speed, distribution and efficiency of the “network” for fungible (non-digital/tangible products) Game B products, i.e. products that have the potential to disrupt entrenched and powerful multinational companies, like Big Pharma and Big Ag.*
LulaRich (by Amazon Studios)
Take a deeper look at how LulaRoe went from start-up to $2 Billion in sales in 4 years (and then lost it almost as quickly for bad behavior). LulaRoe was an easy target for MLM critics, but if you can look beyond the spectacle of the Amazon’s LulaRich series, you can see the enormous power of a network.
The LulaRich series crystalized several insights I would like to explore in this new Game B Network Marketing series:
- What is Amazon up to? The MLM critics in LulaRich suggest all network marketing companies are pyramid schemes and inherently predatory. Isn’t it curious that this “documentary” was produced by Amazon, one of the largest capitalist pyramids, and a company that is under investigation for its alleged predatory actions in the US** and other countries***.
- Why do we continue pick on the underdog? Network marketing gives ordinary people the opportunity to afford premium products that they might not otherwise be able to afford. Can the same be said for expensive prestige products from companies that only pay celebrities and pro-athletes to represent them?
- Who are these critics? There are adequate legal protections with more than enough aggressive lawyers and MLM critics to weed out the bad actors. I am not defending LulaRoe, but who the hell are the MLM critics that Amazon choose to highlight and why do we trust them as experts?
- Empower Small Business As Silicon Valley/Venture capitalists push out more “scalable” businesses that drive local businesses either out of business or into Amazon’s hands, where is the hope for the local businesses? Network Marketing(with a Game B orientation) is certainly one way for small business to serve locally and generate income collectively, without losing autonomy.
Thank you Jeff Bezos for a great starting point to get back to this Game B Network Marketing series. And you’re welcome from all of us who paid for your space ship.
Next in this Series: Muddled by Moloch
*Merck wants Americans to pay $712 for a Covid drug that taxpayers helped develop, The Guardian Oct 14, 2021
**Amazon Scooped Up Data From Its Own Sellers to Launch Competing Products, Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2020
*** Amazon copied products and rigged search results to promote its own brands, documents show, Reuters, Oct 13, 2021