All posts by Thomas_Prendergast

State of The World From A Coffee Drinkers Point of View

State of the World From a Coffee Drinkers Point of View

This article is admittedly not extremely focused. At least…not in the traditional sense. But I think it does make 'sense'. This morning after getting my cup of great tasting, weight-loss coffee I went to scan the news. First I noticed an interesting article from basically saying that Patriots and Christians could lose the upcoming POTUS election if the sissy Christians and 'Never Trumpers' don't vote (which it seems that a lot are inclined to do). (Sorry I can't find the article in my digital trash).

Next, I read this article from one of the regular writers over on one of my other favorite sites, In that article, the writer described how history shows clearly that market-makers (i.e. the 'professional' money-managers) will indeed spread stupid advice, even though they actually know better.

They do it because (1) everybody else is doing it and (2) they don't want to miss out on the profits of a rising market (even though the fundamentals clearly point to the opposite decision).

So just step back and look at that situation for a moment. We've bad guys circling the camp, hungry for our blood, in front of us…AND we've got idiots on your own side hanging out sitting at home watching Archie Bunker re-runs instead of being out piling boxes on the barricades where they should be.

Is it any wonder that the number of people saying, "Hey…fuck this shit. I'm moving to Camincreasesincreses every year. NB: Fill in the name of your favorite expat destination…mine is Colombia right now but Cambodia would be a good option too from what I've read.

I'll tell you one thing is for sure. Most of 'the professionals' have gone totally bonkers. The peaceful, relatively rational society we used to know no longer exists. There isn't any such thing as just minding your own business and going to work and doing your job anymore. Traditional jobs don't exist and your neighbors are all illegal immigrants, or would be if our Great Deceiver or his protege Hillary had their way.

One of the anti-moron, anti-poverty strategies mentioned in the article mentions investing in fundamentally sound business. But if Big Business is all nuts…where can a person find a fundamentally sound business?

The answer, in general terms is…become an entrepreneur and plant multiple flags for residential, taxation, and passport purposes. Don't get caught in a situation were a corrupt, tyrranical government has you by the short hairs.

In more specific terms, one excellent strategy (although admittedly somewhat contrarian) is to find a good MLM opportunity, something that can be done from anywhere in the world with only an internet connection, and get busy building it.

Key Point: It's got to be the combination of the Right Product and the Right Distribution Method.

I don't know if there is a lot of those kinds of situation but I do know of at least one ….. the one that I do. It can be summed up in this thought-provoking question:

"Who do you know who likes coffee and would like to lose some weight?"

If you had a product that would actually do that, do you think you could make some money?

You'll find the entrepreneurial answer to that question in the unique, once-in-a-lifetime alignment between two companies: (1) Valentus, an MLM company with a unique, affordable, weight-loss coffee product that even sells very well on eBay, and (2) Markethive, the world's first, fully combat-ready Market Network.

And don't think your situation is not going to get any better either. It ain't.

You've got two choices: Watch the world go up in flames and join the fleeing crowds in the street, or (2) watch it all in the news on your satellite TV from someplace peaceful, safe, and fun where you'd really like to be.

We're recruiting and training the Next Generation of no-base, progressive, MLM industry leaders right now. It's a rare combination of the right products, the right companies, the right leadership, and the right tools. Join us (for free) in Markethive and learn more.

Fake Lead Generation Helpers?

Fake Lead Generation Philanthropy

You know, I'm getting really pissed off at the duplicitous copywriting and lies I see casually thrown around the internet by people and companies who try to pass themselves off as caring about MLM'ers and how they'll show you how to generate leads.

Case in point:

I recently signed up for an introduction to a brand-name Lead Generation system which I knew has been around for a few years. I've finally found an MLM program I can respect so I thought it might be worthwhile to check out what these lead generation guys had to offer.

But… long-story-short….it almost immediately became apparent that their offer was just 'bait' to get me into their sales funnel. It reminded me that businesses which claim to try to help MLM'ers are often just as two-faced as most of the core MLM industry is.

The problem is that, just like in the real world, it's considered OK for salespeople to spin words and lie to create the false impression that they are going to help you but then turn around in the next OTO or email or webinar and say something different. 

A perfect example of that was the follow-up email I got from this same company tonight with the heading, "Art, we'd like to send leads to you tomorrow!"  

Well…you want to send me some leads?!

Hell yeah….knock yourself out!

But upon reading the actual email it sure didn't seem like that's what was going to happen.

Read this…and YOU tell ME what the chances are of me getting leads tomorrow´´ from these guys as they implied:

*************************their email starts here****************************


Having a free attraction marketing website like the one available through the Rock Stars is great, but wouldn't it be even better if you could see your first batch of leads come through the system tomorrow? It's very possible (It starts to sound fishy here!).
Art, I promise that we won't hold anything back. We're going to teach you the exact methods that we use in our business. No bull, no holds barred. Here's how you can get started:

1.) Create your free account (Gee, I wonder how long this will take?)

OR Login to your existing account

2.) Go to the back office and check out the free training ("Check out??" If I'm a trainee, don't I want positive leadership?)

3.) Watch the Facebook PPC training (Yeah sure! PPC. I'm going to become a PPC Ninja by tomorrow, right?)

4.) Jump in and get started building your own list! ("Get started"?! That doesn't sound like a finite period to me.)
Just because you've failed in the past doesn't mean that tomorrow can't be different. Are you ready to suspend your disbelief and make a positive change for your future??

P.S. –  Once you see how easy it is to generate leads with our system there will be no holding you back. Remember, our 50% revenue share means that all you need to do is refer 2 other pro members to our service in order to put your MLM Rock stars website "in the black". (We know what this game is too, don't we?"

Your MLM Rock Stars Sponsor,

***********************their email ended here*************************************

And that's also where my interest ended.

No, I don't mind work. But I've seen a hundred times on the internet where there is always more to the offer than the vendor says at first. Most of these guys have their carefully planned sales funnel and objectively that's not so bad. But…don't imply that something is going to happen tomorrow, or could happen, when it plainly isn't.

That kind of sales approach really hacks me off. I don't do that and nobody in Markethive (my favorite online community and lead generation source) does it either. Nor does the other lead supplier I'm been testing lately do it.

And BTW, the difference between these two above-referenced lead programs is:

  • Program A comes with a TON of unique tools that nobody else has… whereas the Program B has really only one tool (a pretty good contact manager).
  • Program A actually has a real social community whereas Program B doesn't.
  • Program A is not an MLM or even an affiliate program. It's a free Market Network that integrates a marketplace, a social community, and highly unique software for any internet entrepreneur. It's primarily ad supported like Warrior Forum or Facebook. Program B actually has a pretty sweet little income angle to it…. but entirely fair. NB: Learn what a Market Network is in this article

There are at least two other lead generation rip-offs, both of which are very expensive. In fact, I can spot their ads a mile away. IMHO, people who really know how to make money on the internet…they're NOT wasting time supposedly showing other people how to do.

In fact, if you read between the lines, they actually say that they created those programs not to help YOU but to help them maximize the money they make FROM you. In that regard, I have a much higher regard for the Warrior Forum model that I do most of these other guys.

And…in the case of Markethive and its predecessor company Veretekk (which you can Google by the way), the owner of both of those companies (the same guy… Tom Prendergast) put hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money and constant 18-20 hours days into development, perfection, and training to make sure that those programs delivered results for the community members.

Program A (Markethive) requires considerable work and time to get going but it's an Inbound Marketing Program that actually works and it's still a lot better than somebody spending 20 years at a company only to get laid off.

Program B is basically just a service that provides me names and phone numbers of people with MLM experience. I call'em up and ask'em if they still have a Dream and would they like to take a look at what I'm doing. Some do, some don't, no problem… but it works.

So….OK sales CMO's. Enough of the duplicitous copywriting, OK? Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Series B – Say What!?

"Series B – Say What!?"

I hate it when people assume I know something I could easily understand if they'd just get out of their own little world and get into mine. Such an instance occurred just a few days ago with this article which discussed the new buzzword, 'market network'. 

Notice that at the end of the very first sentence you see the phrase, "…HoneyBook announced a $22 million Series B*.

My very first reaction to that was, "Whaaat??!!" But as I read through the article I sort of got the general idea of what they were talking about…"Series B"….yeah, sure. Like…money and investiing and stuff. But frankly I don't like it when writers use terms that their readers probably aren't familiar with. It's very frustrating to people who actually read. NB: Some people talk that way too… but that's another article. 

It's frustrating because written communication doesn't have the benefit of the spoken word and face to face contact….i.e. visual signaling through eye contact, body language, and trial closes. For that reason, a writer who wants people to understand and appreciate what they're writing will seldom, if ever, use terms the reader isn't likely to know.

As the inquisitive guy I am, I did some research on the term Series B. That term simply refers to one of the earlier stages in the equity funding of a company (NB: "equities" usually refers to stock ownership, i.e. ownership interests or positions in a business entity).

Here is an informative page with some text which explains what Series B means and also has a very short video explaining the term. If you're a Markethive community member you would be wise to have an interest in such things because we´´ might be closer than most of us realize to being involved in such a thing…i.e. we might be doing our own Series B in the near future.

Another item from the article that I thought worthy of reiteration and illustration is the following diagram:

It thought it would be worthwhile to remind readers that the green circle is a type of site that most of us are already very familiar with. The green circle is social sites like Facebook. Our fearless leader, Tom Prendergast, CEO of Markethive, has recently pointed out something that many us already knew, i.e. the world doesn't need another Facebook. The majority of content on Facebook and similar sites is worthless drama, meaningless sabre-rattling and posturing, pontificating, and bullshit. The world really doesn't need any more time-wasters like Facebook.

The other type of site, the 'marketplace' type of site on the left side of the diagram, is a more recent development on in the internet environment. We know those too. They are sites like AliBaba, Amazon, and Etsy, and other, where vendors sell stuff. People go to these sites because they have a regard for the quality and/or service they get there.

The third circle, the blue one, is represented by a term that few people outside certain niches of the internet know… "SaaS" or 'Software as a Service'. This is simply a useful functionality of some sort which you use via your computer. The difference is that the software that makes it happen isn't on your computer. It's somewhere else.

What is unique about 'market networks', as represented by the confluence of these three circles, is that it uses SaaS to facilitate the connection between the networks of people (i.e. the consumers) to the marketplaces that have something they're looking for.  

The market network also removes most of the burden of traffic generation from the vendors on the marketplace too. Traffic that they have previously had to acquire on their own, by more circuitous and laborious means, is now facilitated by the interconnection with the 'networks'.

For example, eBay, Amazon, and AliBaba sellers previously had to hustle to get attention to their 'stalls' in their respective marketplace. As I understand, on a market network site, the presumption is that their value proposition will be a bit more apparent and they will be able to focus more on their own quality and service and less on 'getting traffic' with the presumption that the consumer, i.e. the average dudes from the green circle, will have a better buying experience.

In my view, the most unique factor in this new marketplace paradigm is the software itself and the design elements of the systems themselves. Conceivably there could be some differences between various market networks relative to what product or service they actually deliver, i.e. consumer goods vs. travel services vs. financial services, etc.

One this is certain: People or organizations who can figure out and actualize these ideas will make a lot of money. In fact, considering that the term itself is brand-new, it might even be that there are some entities on the internet that are closer to already being a functional market network that even they themselves realize (

It's even conceivable that there could be market networks specifically for home based business opportunities…. keeping in mind that it is no longer true that a legitimate business has to even have a centralized geo-presence anywhere. It doesn't.

So, we see how the face of business is changing as the ways that buyers and sellers connect with each other. The internet has made this possible. Basic fundamentals indeed are changing and this is a good time for entrepreneurs who see it for what it is and/or are interested in pushing boundaries.

And it's also easy to see that these changes are probably pretty scary to established players who aren't very excited about having to go back to work to reinvent their business model.

To project a bit further into the future, just imagine what a new definition of 'money' itself will do the nature of entrepreneurship, business, and society. I'm referring of course to cyber currency.

If you're a home based business entrepreneur you will recall that over the last few years there have been several cyber currency scams in the MLM niche. All of them have gone down in flames. People apparently really 'ate it up' what they were offering.

I was one who wrote in several articles (with a previous employer) that I would never consider any cybercurrency centric MLM opportunity. But what would happen if somebody was able to really pull it all together, do it correctly and legally, and make the idea of cyber currency work in a Denentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) encompassing Market Networks?

Depending on your perspective, these ideas are either fascinating and exciting or scary and foreboding.

The Top Five Reasons Why Articles Beat Advertising in Terms of Marketing Content


The Top Five Reasons Why Articles Beat Advertising in Terms of Marketing Content

Encountering the most effective marketing techniques is now more difficult than ever before. The good news is that if you understand a few simple concepts, you will be able to gain a valuable edge over your competitors.

We often hear such terms as SEO, web design, social media and big data. Still, one concept which is overlooked is the difference between an article and other forms of advertising such as pay-per-click services. Why are articles still thought to be the best way of reaching your audience and what advantages are they able to provide? The answers may surprise you!


Evergreen Content

The first point to make is that many articles are considered to be evergreen in terms of their content. In other words, the information that they provide is much longer lasting than a specific advertising campaign (1). So, their benefits will last for longer. Some illustrations of evergreen articles can involve:

• How-to lists

• Reviews of a specific product

• Video tutorials

These can be much more effective to generate repeat revenue than a short-lived advertisement.


The Long-Tail Edge

Long-tail keywords are now very important within the world of digital marketing. First, they are able to cater to the discrete needs of the individual performing an online search (2).

Long-tail keywords are also those used during the end of the buying process. Finally, these phrases are also to rank higher within the SERP; providing better online exposure. It is much easier to fit these keywords within an article when compared to an advertisement that relies on brevity. Examples can be:

• Cheap hotels in New York City

• The best website design software for 2016

Long-tail keywords will also appear to be less “clumsy” within a content-laden article.


Addressing the Client

Articles have always had a rather personal edge when compared to an advertisement destined for hundreds or thousands of potential consumers.

These days, people are more fickle than ever before in terms of what they choose to read. If they feel that their needs are not being addressed, they are much more likely to move on and look for greener digital pastures.

Articles have the innate ability to target these desires and therefore, the product or service being offered tends to be more appealing.


The Presentation Itself

Most (not all) advertisements tend to work with a limited amount of space or text. Whether referring to a pop-up ad or a widget within a website, only a certain number of details will be observed. It can be hard to convey the main points of your product within these confines.

Thanks to modern coding techniques, articles are able to offer videos, infographics, flash presentations and numerous links to other sites (think of a good SlideShare presentation as an example here). This can be accomplished without appearing to overwhelm the reader.


Qualified Calls to Action

Many individuals who click on a link within a short advertisement are only mildly curious. So, conversion rates will be rather low. When this very same link is placed at the end of the article, the reader is much more likely to take action. He or she is likely to have read the entire piece; thus appreciating what you are offering in more detail. So, qualifying nurtured leads is much more of a reality.

Now, this is not to say that advertising is useless within the digital domain. We are rather pointing out that a well-presented article can have a massively positive impact without detracting from the appeal of what it is that you are offering.

Richard Tipsword
Markethive Developer





Markethive Readies Exciting Press Release!

Markethive Readies Exciting Press Release!

Who says we've got a slow economy? Maybe parts of the US economy are slow but things are rip-roaring at Markethive, the under-the-radar Inbound Marketing platform brainchild of its CEO Tom Prendergast.

Mr. Prendergast will soon issue a press release bringing the public and the press up to date on the culmination of a multitude of recent advances and accomplishments of Markethive in conjunction with one of the fastest growing companies in the Direct Selling space, Valentus.

Valentus is the US based company with a first-of-its-kind weightloss coffee which allows consumers to lose pounds and incles simply by drinking it. The company is currently growing at approximately 30% per month. Mr. Prendergast has used Markethive assets to shatter the company sales record for growth of a new distributor.

Indeed Markethive brings formidable assets to the task as the organization dates back to approximately 1998 under the previous brand name of Veretkk, In fact, Markethive arguably predates Facebook as one of the very first online social communities and was the originator of several fundamental online marketing tools and technologies such as the autoresponder, the self-replicating web page, the first online application connected to a server database, online broadcasting, blogcasting, blog-swiping, the rebrandable PDF, and others.

Mr. Prendergast believes very strongly that the world is moving into a new entrepreneurial age and has carefully constructed Markethive to be the new Platinum Standard for online entrepreneurs to attain brand reaches reaching into the millions.

Yet in spite of the technological innovation which Markethive gives away for free (the platform is ad-supported) and which more well-known companies such as HubSpot, Pardot, and other charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars for, Markethive's true marketing reach, social power, and technological leadership is derived from it's geometrically expanding, integrated social community of entrepreneurs.

For more details, watch for our press release coming up very soon. Meanwhile, Markethive systems and memberships are available for free at

Turning Rejection Into Success Fuel


Turning Rejection Into Success Fuel

No one likes to be rejected. Least of all MLM business builders who work for themselves and live under the constant awareness that MLM success is a front loaded investment of time and energy.

Yet like it or not, rejection is a part of life. In fact, we encounter it almost everywhere… at work, socially, sometimes even within our family, and even sometimes from our cat.

For sure… rejection isn’t fun.

In real life, different people have different tolerances for rejection but sooner or later the natural reaction is to start to minimize those actions that seem to bring it about. It’s easy to overlook the fact that sometimes not doing something we don’t like doing is actually that action that delays our ultimate and higher gratification.

But luckily, there are ways, mostly revolving around the idea of mental toughness and filtering, whereby rejection can become not only ‘no big deal’ but sometimes even empowering.

Rejection is a part of life. People are often afraid of rejection because it points out flaws in themselves. However, if you use rejection as a learning experience, you can use it to better your position.

The biggest question you should try to answer when you encounter rejection is, ‘Why did the person reject me?” Or perhaps more accurately, “Was it really me (the messenger) they were rejecting or was it perhaps only the message itself?”

For people in the MLM industry, we often fail to consider that our message, i.e. our message that our prospect can be successful within our opportunity, might actually be a scary thought to some people.

Why would anybody think something like that?

They might think that way because they don’t think they can change and they’re not comfortable being around somebody who is trying to change.

Another positive aspect of rejection is that it sometimes gives you an indication of what you want or don’t want out of your life…. even though you might not realize it at the time.

Have you ever been on an interview for a job you knew you really weren’t qualified for? Or perhaps you were qualified, but your heart wasn’t in it. This can happen to people who are burnt out with their careers.

When you are rejected in a situation like this, it actually could be a blessing in disguise. If you’re really not qualified and you did get hired, you probably wouldn’t last in the job. Unless of course you were willing to go through a log of extra training.

In a case where you really are burned out in some particular career activity, rejection can tell you it’s time for a change.

Although some rejection can turn out to be something important for you to think about, most rejection should not be taken personally. You just need to develop a tough skin and move on.

For example, any good salespeople knows that their success is just a number’s game. Often in life, you just need to keep on keeping on´. It’s that simple.

Rejection can also help you clarify your values and refocus your plans. For example, social rejection might be a valuable indication that you’re trying to hang out with jerks. Why would anybody in their right mind do that? Why not go find some nice people to associate with?

In business, excessive rejection of your sales efforts might be a sign that you’re in the wrong market. If you are trying to sell cars to people who don’t have licenses, you’re in for a tough sell and are likely to get a lot of rejections. You should usually try to find a ‘hungry market’ for whatever you’re selling.

One valuable perspective on rejection is that it immediately tells you you’ve got a problem to analyze. Focus on the analytical angle rather than the gloating angle. Not everybody like Marilyn Monroe or The Beatles either. Remember that there is always new prospect and friends somewhere over the horizon. Just be sure the problem isn’t really you. And if it is…don’t keep it.  

The core problem, as already alluded to, is usually one that you can avoid by changes in your own attitude and/or modus operandi. It often is just a change in mental attitude via personal growth of some sort and often the change in results is like somebody flipped a switch in a dark room.

In almost any endeavor with big stakes, you’ll find that 5% of the ‘players’ win 95% of the rewards. But how can that be… considering that knowledge and skill is so easy to acquire in today’s world?

The fact is that skill is only one of the components of success. There are other factors too. Attitude also counts for a lot. Winners are convinced they're going to finish first, whereas everyone else just has a feeling of hope.

In any ‘good mlm’ (and I know of at least one), it soon becomes obvious that those who are really successful are not successful because of any particularly huge skill-set they possess but rather because of an almost magical combination of focused, positive expectation and mental habits.

MLM winners find positives to focus on which pull them through the destructive gravity of rejection. True…sometimes there’s a trick or tool or technique of some sort that expedites the winners journey but more often than not the deciding factor is simply something or someone inspirational.

In an MLM company, that positive factor is often simply your adopted vision of the kind of life attainable with the leveraged income that can come from the opportunity. Indeed, the ‘right’ MLM remains a viable route to success for most people.

One author recently wrote a book for which he interviewed a large group of skilled people. Among that group, the 5% who had won awards and recognition and who became the elite few among the larger group, they all agreed that elite performance is at least 90% mental ‘game’.

The point is that only 10% of success in life is skill but 90% is usually what's going on in your mind. This includes how you handle naysayers and rejection.

It doesn't matter what MLM you're doing. You don't have to be a genius to be successful in it MLM. In fact, it’s probably one of the few industries where hard word usually is rewarded. But you do need to master the mental game or your hard work is harder than it needs to be.

You should certainly have made sure that you’re investing your time in a company that’s not ‘here today and gone tomorrow´ and that the company has a program that really brings value to the consumer. In Markethive we call that latter characteristic ‘Customer Centricity’.

Beyond that, your success comes down to how you mentally process your world, the people in it, and what they say to or about you. If you’re getting bad vibes, well…if the shoe fits….wear it. But if the shoe doesn’t fit… nobody can make you wear it.

If this defensive mental conditioning is important, how much time do you spend doing it? For the most part, the condition of your mental garden is your responsibility. You state of mind depends on what you do to maintain it…. although sometimes you’ll find some trash in it that was thrown over the wall while you weren’t looking.

There probably is no perfect mental attitude plan but one thing is for sure: an idle mind is the devil’s workshop and (in most cases) some activity toward meaningful goals is better than no activity at all.

If you’re in MLM, nobody expects you to be perfect. But your upline is entitled to expect you to come to class and open your book. And if you’re lucky, you’ll have a mentor who doesn't mind you asking questions. To them, that’s a sign of hope and that’s why they’re the teacher and you’re the student.

You’ll also find that the busier you are, the harder it is for negatives to get through to you.

Of course you don’t always have a chance to have personal chats with the top achievers in your MLM company. But many world champion MLM leaders have been heard to say that they had the same self-doubts, criticism, and an occasional loss of direction and/or feeling of confusion that their new recruits worry about too.

Nevertheless, action usually trumps inaction. Inaction is usually not the safest thing to do (unless you´re standing in a mine field’). Every day all around the world there are people getting into all kinds of MLMs, i.e. the good ones, the bad ones, and the ugly ones. And they all have people making money.

If you’re lucky to be in the company that many of us in Markethive are enthusiastic about right now, you know that some people still say ‘no’. But a lot also say ‘wow!’, especially when they recognize what Markethive’s Phase 2 and 3 will be, and those are the ones you’re looking for.

If you were given a deck of maple syrup coated playing cards and told that somebody would pay you $100 for every ace you could find in that deck… how fast would you start flipping those cards over to find the four aces you know are in there?

You’d probably start flipping at the speed of light, wouldn’t you?

And you probably wouldn’t worry or think twice about your fingers getting all sticky or somebody thinking you were acting a bit strange, would you?

That’s the attitude you need to have to build a successful Network Marketing business. Be willing to do what most people aren’t willing to do… for a relatively short period of time. The result is that you’ll be able to live the rest of your life the way those others probably can’t.

The great thing about network marketing is that time is always on your side if you don’t give up, if you’re moving forward, and you have positioned yourself in the right company. Under those conditions, rejections become simply another data field that falls neatly into place in the final tabulation of your ultimate fortune.

Inbound Marketing Rising


Thanks to the Internet, marketing has evolved over the years. Consumers no longer rely on billboards and TV spots — a.k.a. outbound marketing — to learn about new products, because the web has empowered them. It's given them alternative methods for finding, buying and researching brands and products. The new marketing communication — inbound marketing — has become a two-way dialogue, much of which is facilitated by social media.

Another reason why inbound marketing is winning is because it costs less than traditional marketing. Why try to buy your way in when consumers aren't even paying attention? Here are some stats from the infographic below.

  • 44% of direct mail is never opened. That's a waste of time, postage and paper.
  • 86% of people skip through television commercials.
  • 84% of 25 to 34 year olds have clicked out of a website because of an "irrelevant or intrusive ad."
  • The cost per lead in outbound marketing is more than for inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing focuses on earning, not buying, a person's attention, which is done through social media and engaging content, such as blogs, podcasts and white papers. This content is interesting, informative and adds value, creating a positive connection in the eyes of the consumer, thus making him more likely to engage your brand and buy the product. So it costs less and has better a ROI.

Lisa Moore





From Social Networks To Market Networks

From Social Networks To Market Networks

Most people didn’t notice last month when a 35-person company in San Francisco called HoneyBook announced a $22 million Series B*.

What was unusual about the deal is that nearly all the best-known Silicon Valley VCs competed for it. That’s because HoneyBook is a prime example of an important new category of digital company that combines the best elements of networks like Facebook with marketplaces like Airbnb — what we call a market network.

Market networks will produce a new class of unicorn companies and impact how millions of service professionals will work and earn their living.

What Is A Market Network?

“Marketplaces” provide transactions among multiple buyers and multiple sellers — like eBay, Etsy, Uber and LendingClub.

“Networks” provide profiles that project a person’s identity, then lets them communicate in a 360-degree pattern with other people in the network. Think Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

What’s unique about market networks is that they:

  • Combine the main elements of both networks and marketplaces
  • Use SaaS workflow software to focus action around longer-term projects, not just a quick transaction
  • Promote the service provider as a differentiated individual, helping to build long-term relationships

An example will help: Let’s go back to HoneyBook, a market network for the events industry.

An event planner builds a profile on That profile serves as her professional home on the web. She uses the HoneyBook SaaS workflow to send self-branded proposals to clients and sign contracts digitally.

She then connects to that project the other professionals she works with, like florists and photographers. They also get profiles on HoneyBook, and everyone can team up to service a client, send each other proposals, sign contracts and get paid by everyone else.

This many-to-many transaction pattern is key. HoneyBook is an N-sided marketplace — transactions happen in a 360-degree pattern like a network. That makes HoneyBook both a marketplace and network.

A market network often starts by enhancing a network of professionals that exists offline. Many of them have been transacting with each other for years using fax, checks, overnight packages and phone calls.

By moving these connections and transactions into software, a market network makes it significantly easier for professionals to operate their businesses and clients to get better service.

We’ve Seen This Before

AngelList is also a market network*. I don’t know if it was the first, but Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi deserve a lot of credit for pioneering the model in 2010.

On AngelList, the pattern is similar. The startup CEO can complete her fundraising paperwork through the AngelList SaaS workflow, and everyone in the network can share deals, hire employees and find customers in a 360-degree pattern.

Joist is another good example. Based in Toronto, it provides a market network for the home remodel and construction industry. Houzz is also in that space, with broader reach and a different approach*. DotLoop in Cincinnati shows the same pattern for the residential real estate brokerage industry.


Looking at AngelList, Joist, Houzz, DotLoop and HoneyBook, the market network pattern is visible.

Six Attributes Of A Successful Market Network

Market networks target more complex services. In the last six years, the tech industry has obsessed over on-demand labor marketplaces for quick transactions of simple services. Companies like Uber, Mechanical Turk, Thumbtack, Luxe and many others make it efficient to buy simple services whose quality is judged objectively. Their success is based on commodifying the people on both sides of the marketplace.

However, the highest value services — like event planning and home remodeling — are neither simple nor objectively judged. They are more involved and longer term. Market networks are designed for these types of services.

People matter. With complex services, each client is unique, and the professional they get matters. Would you hand over your wedding to just anyone? Or your home remodel? The people on both sides of those equations are not interchangeable like they are with Lyft or Uber. Each person brings unique opinions, expertise and relationships to the transaction. A market network is designed to acknowledge that as a core tenet — and provide a solution.

Collaboration happens around a project. For most complex services, multiple professionals collaborate among themselves — and with a client — over a period of time. The SaaS at the center of market networks focuses the action on a project that can take days or years to complete.

Market networks help build long-term relationships. Market networks bring a career’s worth of professional connections online and make them more useful. For years, social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook have helped build long-term relationships. However, until market networks, they hadn’t been used for commerce and transactions.

Referrals flow freely. In these industries, referrals are gold, for both the client and the service professional. The market network software is designed to make referrals simple and more frequent.

Market networks increase transaction velocity and satisfaction. By putting the network of professionals and clients into software, the market network increases transaction velocity for everyone. It increases the close rate on proposals and expedites payment. The software also increases customer satisfaction scores, reduces miscommunication and makes the work pleasing and beautiful. Never underestimate pleasing and beautiful.

Social Networks Were The Last 10 Years. Market Networks Will Be The Next 10.

First we had communication networks, like telephones and email. Then we had social networks, like Facebook and LinkedIn. Now we have market networks, like HoneyBook, AngelList, Houzz, DotLoop and Joist.

You can imagine a market network for every industry where professionals are not interchangeable: law, travel, real estate, media production, architecture, investment banking, personal finance, construction, management consulting and more. Each market network will have different attributes that make it work in each vertical, but the principles will remain the same.

Over time, nearly all independent professionals and their clients will conduct business through the market network of their industry. We’re just seeing the beginning of it now.

Market networks will have a massive positive impact on how millions of people work and live, and how hundreds of millions of people buy better services.

I hope more entrepreneurs will set their sights on building these businesses. It’s time. They are hard products to get right, but the payoff is potentially massive.

by (@JamesCurrier)

Is Markethive one of the new pioneers called a Market Network?
Please comment below what do you think?

Hooked: How To Make Habit-Forming Products, And When To Stop Flapping

Hooked: How To Make Habit-Forming Products, And When To Stop Flapping

We now know that Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen decided to take down his hugely popular—and habit-forming—game, Flappy Bird because he had a moral pang about the game’s addictive potential. There was speculation about legal problems, or coping with the stress of overnight success, but it seems that he has done what many large tech companies have avoided—taken responsibility for the misuse of his product.

Tweeting as @dongatory a a couple of weeks ago, Dong replied to an obsessed fan, “People are overusing my app 🙁 .”  The following day, in a series of four surprising tweets, he announced, “I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore.” (Emphasis mine.)

All of this is familiar territory to behavior design consultant and author Nir Eyal (who also contributes in these pages.) His new book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, is a step-by-step guide to do intentionally what Dong seems to have done intuitively. In its simplest terms, Hooked describes how to convert the “external triggers” that make a person engage with a product into “internal triggers” that bring that person back to it again and again.



Games, like Flappy Bird are perfect examples of this mechanism, but an easy way for non-gamers to grasp this phenomena is to consider the catchiness of pop songs. When your first hear a song on the radio, you are responding to the “external trigger” of its transmission over the airwaves (or internet as the case may now be.) But when you find yourself involuntarily singing that song in the shower, it has become its own “internal trigger” in your brain. It’s like a client side app where all of the data required to recreate the experience is preloaded into your browser (i.e., your brain!)

Making products habit-forming, and the behavior design that makes it possible, has gone from being a nice-to-have to a need-to-have in the ultra-competitive world of apps and digital services. There are so many things screaming for users’ attention that only the things that they whisper to themselves about have a chance of sticking around for a while.

A research report back in 2011 by Localytics showed that 26% of typical users download an app and open it just once. The important corollary to this disheartening pattern is that another 26% will download an app and use it 10 or more times—often enough for it to become part of their routine. The difference between these two kinds of users—and how to convert the first kind into the second kind—is the focus of Eyal’s “Hook” method.

The Hook consists of four parts that must be combined in sequence to convert an externally motivated engagement with a product into one that is internally motivated and habitual. “Through consecutive hook cycles,” Eyal writes, “successful products reach their ultimate goal of unprompted user engagement, bringing users back repeatedly without costly advertising or aggressive messaging.”

Eyal stands on the shoulders of giants in putting together what is essentially an open source framework for user psychology. This framework draws upon the work of contemporaries like BJ Fogg, Dan Ariely, Charles Duhigg and Daniel Kahneman but also the inventor of behaviorism in psychology, B.F. Skinner. Eyal got an MBA at Stanford and now teaches there, and his debt to Stanford behavior design researcher and educator BJ Fogg in particular is evident.

But there are important differences in their approach. The Fogg behavior model applies equally well to one-time and repeat actions and for actions you want to motivate as well as actions you want to avoid motivating. Eyal focuses on just one of these quadrants—those actions that you want to turn into habits. But as we shall see, Eyal uses Skinner and others to expand upon what helps us to internalize actions and repeat them.

The essence of Fogg’s approach is to consider a person’s amount of motivation to do something compared with how easy it is to do. You don’t have to be tremendously motivated to do some thing easy, like click “like” on Facebook, but if a product requires an investment of time and/or money, like having your DNA tested by 23andMe, you need a compelling reason. The easier 23andMe can make that process, by requiring less information or lowering the price, the less pressing my reasons have to be to want to follow through. Importantly, no matter how easy an action is, or how motivated a person is, no action will happen without the presence of trigger adjacent in space and time to the means of completing the action.

The first step in Eyal’s hook model is this trigger. He sees the hook as an iterative process which begins with external triggers that after a series of cycles convert into internal triggers. How this conversion occurs is at the heart of what makes this method supremely useful to growth hackers and others involved in engineering the viral aspects of products. Getting back to the example of Flappy Bird above, Eyal points out that “Negative emotions frequently serve as internal triggers.” So the repeated epic failures that a new player experiences with that game make them angry at themselves. This anger is indeed the energy that propels the player to play again.

The second part of the hook is the action itself. The easier it is do something, the more users will do it. Eyal charts the growth of user-generated content from services like Blogger, which require you to actually create original content, to Pinterest, which reduces the participatory action down to the selection of what on the web to “pin.” Guess which one grew faster? There are many dimensions to ease, well-documented by Fogg in his six “elements of simplicity,” than range from amounts of time, money and effort required to levels of mental complexity, social acceptability and habitual familiarity. This is important because increasing your user’s ability to do something is far more within your control than boosting their internal motivation. Human psychology is not a uniform surface that can be wholly controlled by turning a couple of knobs, of course. Eyal emphasizes observed patterns of behavior that can be used as heuristics to increase the likelihood of a given action. We sometimes infer value from scarcity or assume form the presence of a sale tag that something is a bargain.

The third part of Eyal’s method takes advantage of these inconsistencies in how humans evaluate situations to excite our motivational instincts. It is important that product reward the actions that it triggers, but critically, if these rewards are variable we are far more likely to get sucked in. Decades of brain research has concluded that we are more motivated by the anticipation of reward than by the reward itself. In Flappy Bird, most of the time you fail, but the possibility that you could get a high score (or any score at all!) deepens the hook. The trigger is our self-inflicted anger, but playing holds out the reward of self-mastery. Eyal cites Pinterest as an example of the variable rewards of the “hunt.” Finally, when a friend “likes” your high score update on Facebook or follows your board on Pinterest you experience social satisfaction, rewards of the “tribe.” In Eyal’s model, the hook is a series of cycles and just as the triggers go from external to internal, so too can the rewards range from self to hunt or tribe. As described above, both Flappy Bird and Pinterest successfully utilize multiple types of rewards—but always with some degree of variability.

Finally, for the habit to really take hold, the user has to invest into it. The pictures you take with Instagram constitute your investment in the platform. Not only does the threat of losing this body of work keep you from switching to other photo apps, but your social engagement with others on the platform reinforce this continuity as well. By getting us to put ourselves into a product its designers are using our own narcissism to increase our perceived value of their product. Dan Ariely of Duke University, and author of Predictably Irrational and other books, calls this the “Ikea Effect,”  where our time spent with the ubiquitous Allen wrench makes our hearts fonder of the (possibly flawed!) end result. The other aspect of this is that since we are all creatures of habit, our investment in a habit becomes a form of inertia that makes it increasingly unlikely that we will engage in the cognitive dissonance of a new solution to our need.

Hooked is a very useful book for anyone involved in designing, managing and marketing products. It does suffer a bit from a duality of purpose that sometimes stretches the tone of the writing between earnest explication of the fascinations of human behavior to an practical boosterism for how to use of the techniques behind these phenomena. Behavior design is clearly a rising discipline with great effectiveness to help engineer beneficial habits, but it also can—and is—being abused for manipulative purposes.

In the sixth chapter of the book, Eyal discusses these manipulations, but I think he skirts around the morality issues as well as the economics that make companies overlook them. The Candy Crush Saga game is a good example of how his formulation fails to capture all the moral nuance of the problem. According to his Manipulation Matrix, King, the maker of Candy Crush Saga, is an Entertainer because although their product does not (materially) improve the user’s life, the makers of the game would happily use it themselves. So, really, how bad can it be?

Consider this: Candy Crush is a very habit-forming time-waster for the majority of its users, but a soul-destroying addiction for a distinct minority (perhaps larger, however, than the 1% Eyal refers to as a rule of thumb for user addiction.) The makers of the game may be immune to the game’s addictive potential, so their use of it doesn’t necessarily constitute a guarantee of innocuousness. But here’s the economic aspect: because consumers are unwilling to pay for casual games, the makers of these games must construct manipulative habits that make players seek rewards that are most easily attained through in-app purchases. For “normal” players, these payments may just be the way that they pay to play the game instead of a flat rate up-front or a subscription, and there is nothing morally wrong with getting paid for your product (obviously!) But for “addicted” players these payments may be completely out of scale with any estimate of the value of a casual game experience. King reportedly makes almost $1 million A DAY from Candy Crush, all from in app purchases. My guess is that there is a long tail going on with a relative few players being responsible for a disproportionate share of that revenue.

Understanding these potentially conflicting motivations is important for product designers of all kinds, and I believe it is a subject of intense interest to Eyal. Habit-formation is no longer a nice-to-have but a need-to-have aspect of making a successful product. This makes the temptations of manipulation all the more dangerous. We all now need to abide by the superhero credo, that with great power comes great responsibility. Habit-hacking is indeed a superpower, time to put on the capes!

Markethive – The Digital Entrepreneur’s Big Tent

Markethive – The Digital Entrepreneur's Big Tent

There is a phrase often used in politics which applies equally well to Markethive. That phrase is, 'Big Tent'. Wikipedia defines the word thusly:"In politics, a big tent or catch-all party is a political party seeking to attract people with diverse viewpoints and thus appeal to more of the electorate."

It is gradually becoming apparent to the present Markethive community that Markethive is indeed a big tent for aspiring entrepreneurs. Certainly there is a need for an online association or community where entrepreneurs of diverse profiles and directions can band together not just for strength in numbers but also for the cross-pollination that is one of the key characteristics of entrepreneurial groups.

Traditional social media platforms (typified by Facebook) have missed the boat. Facebook represents 'the majority' and its social tenor reflects the drama-ridden, instant gratification, mediocrity of the average life. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, have never been the majority oof the population or the average mindset.

Entrepreneurs have generally been the few, the constant questioners, the explorers, the risk takers, and those who seek to solve problems rather that complain about them. 

Just as the first iteration of laissez-faire capitalism manifested in the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution, the second iteration of it, AKA The Digital Revolution, saw computers, the internet, and split-second communication technologies like Skype and VoIP usher in the age of Entrepreneurism 2.0.

However, just as most manufacturing processes generate a certain amount of scrap and sometimes even pollution, today's social media industry has been that counterpart with it's mindless, trendy, goofball communities of people with nothing better to do than waste everybody else's time.

Markethive is the exact opposite.

Markethive is the perfect marriage of a social community with more lofty and practical purpose. True capitalists believe that a rising tide floats all boats. Within Markethive, entrepreneurs find not the narcissistic selfishness of people who value political correctness and socialism above all but rather a loose affiliation of people who believe that there's plenty of opportunity to go around for those who choose to pursue it and accept the inherent minimal risks and responsibilities of being pioneers.

Within Markethive one finds a diverse membership composed of distributors from a wide variety of MLM companies, affiliate marketers, people with more traditional businesses who are trying to integrate those businesses into the internet, and people with a variety of causes to promote. Markethive truly is a 'big tent' with its diverse membership base across global geographies, religions, politics, formal vs. informal education, and goals.

Modern day 'liberals' have actually bastardized the original meaning of the word 'liberal' from its original connotation of 'free thinking'. Being liberal has evolved to mean a repressive brand of anti-freedom, anti-success, anti-capitalism, anti-progress philosophy. But it is within Markethive that today's new breed of entrepreneurs find support and encouragement for their loftiest goals.

Tom Prendergast, Markethive's founder, CEO, and one of its hardest workers, has an enviable record of success in a variety of forms, including MLM, advertising, product and market development, technology, and even several varieties of art. Tom doesn't just preach the entrepreneurial lifestyle… he lives it. And he is intimately familiar with the challenges that face entrepreneurs as well as the success that often occurs when they simply refuse to give up.

Another unique characteristic of Markethive is that whereas most founders and leaders of successful enterprises get more distant from the members of their organizations as those organizations get bigger and more successful.. such has not been the case with Tom Prendergast.

Although Markethive is growing ever ore rapidly and our 'lean' management philosophy means that Tom and our Chief Engineer Stephen Hotchkiss work almost continuosuly, thus far Tom remains generally very accessible by anybody within or without Markethive and does not use the internet to create a shroud of invisibility and unaccountability like many modern leaders (especially on the internet) have. In fact, both Tom and Mr. Hotchkiss successfully use Markethive tools every day.

Another interesting characteristic of Markethive is that we do believe that Network Marketing is still, in its true form, is a viable business model by which almost anybody can achieve success. The black-eye that Network Marketing currently has with most of the general public is due simply to the way that most MLM companies currently operate. Instead, we at Markethive have been avid proponents of what we call the Customer Centric MLM Model, as outlined in this article.

Even today, as the MLM industry´s tarnished fascade is harder and harder to hide and the industry struggles to hide its problems, most mainstream MLM companies stick to their 'old school' methodologies and attitudes. But the truth is that the industry is going through tectonic stresses and changes, some apparent and some not.

Markethive believes that many traditional MLM companies will not change because they are either too deeply mired in their outmoded ways or they simply refuse to 'see the truth'.

At Markethive we believe that the industry cannot ultimately avoid the karma it has earned and the next few years will see a renewed interest not only in the idea of having a home-based business but that these opportunity seekers will be increasingly more savvy in vetting those opportunities they chose to embrace.

If new opportunity seekers or distributors wanting to find a better 'deal' don't see Customer Centricity and the Golden Rule in the very fabric of any company where they're considering investing their time and money….it's probably going to be, "Adios Baby". 

The simple fact of the matter is that even Markethive technology cannot ultimately save Old School MLM companies. The Markethive philosophy (in almost every area) is diametrically opposed to what the traditional industry has tried to pass off as 'opportunity'. Modern technology and/or a fresh coat ofpaintt cannot save any company which doesn't treat people right.

Regardless of what anybody thinks of the Network Marketing industry…it's still pretty darn big and for the foreseeable future will be one of the few viable opportunities for the 'average guy or gal'.

But… today's MLM distributors are tired of empty promises, market exaggeration, overpriced and/or crappy products that nobody really wants to buy or sell, products that won't sell on the open market for more than the distributor pays for them (e.g. if it won't sell at a profit on eBay, it is overpriced), 'marketing' programs that don't really sell anything but instead just transfer products from one distributor to another, backroom deals for promotions, compensation plans that constantly change to keep the rank and file hungry while the 'leaders' drive around in limousines and Jaguars, and organizations composed of 95% distributors where there is little or no real retail selling but everybody goes to hyped-up, precisely orchestrated and choreographed meetings where everybody just hi-fives everybody else but hopes nobody asks them, 'Are you making any money?'

Indeed, by any honest definition of the word "business"…. the vast majority of today's MLM companies do not have anything even remotely resembling a real 'business' based on bringing real value to the marketplace. 

We are moving into the Age of The Entrepreneur and whereas the internet has allowed some to be deceived and/or distracted…. others are becoming aware that they can do more, be more, and have more. Those individuals are searching for companies (MLM or otherwise) with the right products (or services), which truly embrace a Customer Centric model, and which can prove that they truly believe in 'equal opportunity for all'.

Markethive will probably always be a 'work in progress' simply because that is the nature of an entrepreneur… i.e. always be improving. But… for all practical intents and purposes, Markethive is the biggest and baddest gunslinger in town right now in the area of Inbound Marketing.

Smart marketers know that for going after the big money, old-fashioned Outbound Marketing is dead. Today's smart money is being spent on Inbound Marketing companies. Unfortunately, only large companies with big marketing budgets can afford modern Inbound Marketing platforms and systems…. up until now. 

Many well-known Inbound Marketing companies charge $1000@month for the same (or less) marketing power that Markethive offers totally for free. Markethive can do this because (1) Markethive is funded by advertising just like Facebook and several other well-known platforms and (2) Markethive functionality is integrated with it's own vibrant and geometrically expanding social network. 

Indeed… other Inbound Marketing platform matches Markethive's perfect combination of Technology and 'People Power'.

In summary, I have tried to point out the reasons and the ways that Markethive is a 'Big Tent'. It's a tent that is itself constantly expanding organically, almost evangelically, and the end result is a benign type of 'Borg' or 'Hive' that benefits everybody.

Markethive is indeed is a modern, digital embodiment of the Statue of Liberty that early immigrants to America first saw when they entered New York City harbor and passed by Ellis Island.

Markethive is a big tent and a big boat´' but there will always be room for 'one more passenger' and the ticket is free.

Wanna join us for the ride?


Art Williams
Markethive Developer and Contributor