Introduction to Internet Lifestyle Network MLM Compensation Plan
If you have been following this blog, you know that it was a Pink Floyd planetarium show I saw when I was 16 that inspired me to write my now defunct classic rock blog. In those days, I was a rabid supporter of my favorite bands, and I had nothing but vitriol to say to anyone who criticized them. It was a little bit like the flame wars that rage between the supporters and detractors of the various multilevel marketing (MLM) companies I have reviewed on this site, but that is a story for another day. You see, I am a blogger from the days before anyone called them blogs, and that is why Notebook Crazy has a more literary writing style than most other MLM review blogs out there. It is also why I would be willing to bet, if I were the sort of person to make bets, that Notebook Crazy contains more anecdotes about Pink Floyd than any other MLM blog out there. I have told the story of how the band got its name. I have told the story of Syd Barrett’s descent into madness. But this is a more cynical Pink Floyd story. This is about the business side of the band and about when things got really ugly.
Roger Waters and Syd Barrett were childhood friends; they knew each other before any of the other eventual members of Pink Floyd knew each other. David Gilmour first joined the band unofficially toward the end of 1967, when Barrett’s behavior was becoming erratic. The band could no longer be sure that Barrett would show up for gigs, and when he did show up, they could not be sure if he was in any kind of frame of mind to play his parts of the songs. Therefore, Gilmour would fill in for him when necessary; he essentially joined the band as an understudy for Barrett. Gilmour was the obvious choice because he had been a friend of Barrett for some time, and also because he was a competent guitarist and singer. When Barrett left the band in 1968, Gilmour went from being Barrett’s understudy to being his full time replacement.
But that is all ancient history. It is also ancient history that the band went on to achieve enormous success with their 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon. It became the album that enjoyed the longest run of all time on the bestselling album charts, and it held that position for the next decade, until it was unseated by Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It was during the making of Wish You Were Here, the follow up album to Dark Side of the Moon, that Waters began to clash with the other band members, but that was far from the most memorable thing that happened during the Wish You Were Here sessions. One day in 1975, when the band was recording part of “Shine on, You Crazy Diamond”, the tribute to Syd Barrett that takes up most of the album, Barrett himself appeared at the recording studio. No one recognized him at first, since his once thin body had become bloated because of prescription steroids, and he had shaved off his long hair and even his eyebrows. All of the band members were disturbed by this incident, as was everyone in the studio who had known Barrett in more innocent days, but it was Waters and Gilmour who shed tears when they recognized him.
That was about the last time that Roger Waters and Syd Barrett had anything in common. After that, Pink Floyd was no longer about Syd Barrett and his friends making interestingly weird music, usually without Syd Barrett. Instead, it was now about bigger and more costly publicity stunts. It all started with the cover art for the 1976 album Animals, a concept album loosely based on the book Animal Farm by George Orwell. The album cover depicted an inflatable pig floating above the Battersea Power Station. To make that album cover today, you would, of course, use CGI, but in the 70s, making the cover of Animals actually involved floating a gigantic pig above the Battersea Power Station. (Making the album art for Wish You Were Here actually involved lighting a guy’s clothing on fire, but that is a story for another day.) At one point, the pig broke loose from its moorings, and the wind carried it across the London sky, causing air traffic to London’s Heathrow Airport to have to be temporarily rerouted.
The Pink Floyd flying pigs became the stuff of legend. The band incorporated inflatable pigs into its increasingly elaborate live stage shows. The inflatable pigs from the tour following the release of Animals were relatively realistic looking pink pigs, but the ones on the tour for The Wall looked more sinister.
In the years following the release of The Wall, things went from bad to worse among the members of Pink Floyd, with Rick Wright eventually being pressured to leave the band. Roger Waters publicly announced his intention not to make any more Pink Floyd albums, and legal proceedings began to dissolve the band. Gilmour and Mason wished to continue under the name Pink Floyd, and the situation evolved into a complicated legal battle. The band reached a settlement in the mid-1980s that Gilmour and mason could continue to record and tour under the name Pink Floyd. Waters, however, was granted the rights to the inflatable pigs, and for the rest of the 1980s, humongous pigs floated above him almost every time he appeared on stage at his solo concerts. Not to be outdone, the remaining members of Pink Floyd found a loophole in the legal agreement in order to be able to continue to perform with their signature porcine stage props. According to their logic, the Pink Floyd pigs to which Waters had been awarded the rights were sows, and therefore it was fine for Pink Floyd, minus Waters, to perform onstage with inflatable boars. This meant that the female pigs went to Waters while the male pigs went to Gilmour and Mason.
What do you think about when you read this story? Greed? Rock star excess? Legal disputes over ridiculous things? Something that has outlived its usefulness reinventing itself purely for commercial gain? Well, if the least starry-eyed (planetarium-eyed?) of my Pink Floyd stories gives you the creeps, don’t get involved with MLM, and whatever you do, don’t read my Internet Lifestyle Network review.
Internet Lifestyle Network: The Company and Its Products
Internet Lifestyle Network burst onto the scene in the summer of 2013. Its founders Mark Hoverson and Vincent Ortega, Jr. had worked in other MLM companies before, rising through the ranks to become eligible for the elusive bonus pools. (I only can assume. I wasn’t there at those MLM meetings in Las Vegas open only to people who have achieved the rank of Diamond or higher, and as the saying goes, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.) According to some sources, for Mark Hoverson, Internet Lifestyle Network was just a front to get more people to join his downline team for another MLM, Global Resorts Network, which sold travel club memberships, much like World Ventures, another MLM company I have reviewed on this site.
It is hard to say exactly what the Internet Lifestyle Network products are. It sells memberships for $37 (Apprenticeship) or $95 (Inner Circle) per month, depending on which one you buy, and then there are expensive (quadruple digits) training courses available only to Internet Lifestyle Network members.
Ostensibly, Internet Lifestyle Network members were to sell a blogging platform, but it turned out that the blogging platform in question was just a version of WordPress, which is free. By the middle of 2014, a lot of people had started to sense that there was something fishy about Internet Lifestyle Network, and by 2015, Mark Hoverson had gotten out of the Internet Lifestyle Network, or at least renamed it Lifestyle Design Network, but you know what they say. If it oinks like a pig and it floats like a pig and it interrupts air travel to Heathrow airport like a pig …
This happens in MLM more often than you would expect.
But, allegedly, the real trouble came when Vincent Ortega wanted to add an energy drink into the Internet Lifestyle Network business opportunity. Mark Hoverson thought nothing of building an entire MLM company to serve as a front for another MLM company (apparently, it took Hoverson and the other Internet Lifestyle Network masterminds a while even to decide which MLM company to use it as a front for), but even he drew the line at nutraceuticals. I can hardly blame him. Soon, the company imploded. Yes, it is ridiculous that the multimillionaire members of a rock band should quarrel over pink pigs, and one of them should walk away with Pink while the other keeps the pigs, but this is even more ridiculous. See? I told you not to read my Internet Lifestyle Network review.
The Internet Lifestyle Network Compensation Plan
The Internet Lifestyle Network compensation plan was (or perhaps is, in its current incarnation as Lifestyle Design Network) based almost entirely on the recruitment of affiliates. In fact, the whole thing was a ploy to get you to recruit more and more Internet Lifestyle Network members into Mark Hoverson’s downline for Global Resorts Network, where the most gullible among them would pay up to $12,000. Twelve thousand dollars is a lot of money. It is a year of tuition at some public universities. Can you imagine how angry your spouse would be if you spend a year’s worth of tuition from your kids’ college fund on a product that hardly exists? We don’t even need to get into the details of the Internet Lifestyle Network compensation plan to see how ridiculous this is.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- At least it all started and ended quickly.
- At least there is nothing in the Internet Lifestyle Network compensation plan that involves sending plankton smoothies or fungus-laced coffee to people’s houses on autoship.
- I guess all the people at Global Resorts Network who were sharing the bonus pool with Mark Hoverson got some bonus money from all the people he recruited in his downline.
- Remember all those other times on this site, when I told you about sleazy things that happen in the world of MLM, and I kept saying, “but that isn’t really that sleazy, because in MLM, sleaze is a relative term”? This is what I meant. This is sleazy.
- Internet Lifestyle Network makes all MLM companies look bad. It almost makes me want to apologize for how critical I was of all those MLM companies that expect you to try to convince people that the vitamin supplements you are selling them are better than the ones from the supermarket, or the ones that want you exploit people’s poor body image and get them to buy body shaping garments. Even Amega of the AM Wand was sincere about the product it was trying to sell.
Despite all the fallout, the Internet Lifestyle Network website is still up, still advertising a free seven-day trial, but when you click on it, it takes you to a page called Lifestyle Design Network. The Lifestyle Design Network page lists Hoverson as the founder and as the talking head who will guide you through all the training materials (all 15 hours of them). As for Vincent Ortega, he has started a new MLM company called Supercharged Network, this time with another MLM bigshot named Alex Morton. If you did not believe me the last time I compared MLM companies to the Lernaean Hydra that grows two new heads every time you cut off one, here is your proof.
Will you make money off of Internet Lifestyle Network, in any of its incarnations? Maybe when pigs fly.
If you are as outraged as I am about all this and you want to rant about it with me on the phone, schedule a call with me today.