Is MOBE (My Online Business Education/Empire) or MTTB (My Top Tier Business) A Scam/Pyramid Scheme? [Video Transcript][This is a transcript of the corresponding video.]
Hello, and welcome. My name is Brian Katzung.
My Online Business Education, formerly My Online Business Empire, and also known as MOBE, is not yet a universally recognized name in small business education. It is therefore not surprising for people new to MOBE, its popular My Top Tier Business product (or MTTB for short), or other products, to wonder if it’s a legitimate program before purchasing. I can relate to that–I’m a cautious person by nature and I also have a background in computer security; I did my research too before becoming involved with MOBE.
In this video for busres.com Business Resources, I will try to provide you with some context in order to help you come to your own conclusions and decisions about whether MOBE programs might be a good fit for you.
First, let’s consider the definitions for pyramid schemes and Ponzi schemes.
Wikipedia defines a pyramid scheme as “an unsustainable business model that involves promising participants payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public.”
Wikipedia defines a Ponzi scheme as a “fraudulent investment operation where the operator pays returns to its investors from new capital paid to the operator by new investors, rather than from profit earned by the operator.”
So how do MOBE and its programs measure up to these definitions?
MOBE is an online education and live training event company. It’s programs are currently focused primarily on Internet marketing, but founder Matt Lloyd aspires for MOBE to become the number one provider of business training for small businesses and entrepreneurs, and he is actively implementing programs to try to make that happen.
I believe that the skills taught in the MOBE programs would be considered valuable to an employer or client looking for an employee or consultant with Internet marketing skills. Matt Lloyd touches on business model sustainability in several of his videos, and in his The Future of MOBE video in particular.
Among the programs taught by MOBE is how to license other people’s products to re-license to others on a commission basis, and the benefits for doing this. MOBE practices what it teaches, and offers re-licensing rights as part of several products. Many MOBE students take advantage of this as an income-generating opportunity, and most of those students focus on selling MOBE products exclusively, or nearly so, especially initially.
Unfortunately, this tends to give MOBE the appearance of a pyramid scheme to the casual observer, even though the product licensing training is completely general and can be applied to any number of products and you can therefore potentially earn money by utilizing the skills without ever selling MOBE.
While MOBE can be considered an “investment in one’s education” and you can earn a return on your investment by diligently applying what you have learned, it is not an “investment operation” in the sense of being a financial instrument.
Next, let’s examine the MOBE value proposition and the topic of scams.
One definition of “scam” is a confidence trick or confidence game. A scam by this definition simply aims to build enough trust to “take your money and run”, with no attempt to offer value. People often also use the term “scam” to refer to something, which, in their personal opinion, doesn’t provide value worth the cost.
Regarding the first definition, MOBE’s multi-million dollar revenue stream depends on a network of thousands of affiliate marketers, so I submit that it’s very unlikely that founder Matt Lloyd would take your money and disappear, never to be heard from again.
Whether the value provided is worth the cost is much more subjective. Not everybody is starting from the same place or looking for the same thing. Some people would rather invest their time than their money. Other people put a higher value on their time, and are willing to pay in order to benefit from the sometimes hard-won experience of others.
Here is some additional information to help you decide whether or not MOBE products and programs might be a good fit for you:
- MOBE is international in many respects, including product payments. You may have to contact your bank to authorize international credit card payments.
- MOBE is a fairly rapidly growing company. This can be a mixed blessing, as it does experience growing pains from time to time while management makes infrastructure adjustments to compensate.
- MOBE offers a number of standalone courses (with many more likely coming–see the Future of MOBE video) if you’re not interested in the licensing programs.
- Other than the licensing rights per se, MOBE products can generally be applied or extrapolated to any online business you choose, not just MOBE.
- The $49 MTTB (My Top Tier Business) program does not by itself position you to earn the $1K, $3K, and $5K commissions–it consists of a system overview and coaching. You should definitely read and understand the compensation plan if you are considering selling MOBE. While not trivial, it’s actually a pretty straight forward plan in my opinion.
- One or more coaches work with you as you go through the 21 MTTB steps. The steps are normally unlocked by your coach as you go, not all at once.
- According to MOBE support, as long as you don’t opt out and get your $49 refunded, the MTTB program entitles you to all 21 steps (and you can qualify for the $500 money back guarantee) even WITHOUT purchasing the MLR (MOBE License Rights) program. However, you don’t get a tier-2 coach if you don’t purchase the MLR program, and you should therefore submit a MOBE support ticket to get the remaining steps unlocked under those circumstances.
- You can promote some MOBE products for commissions even without purchasing any of the MLR or higher-end licensing products. Again, see the compensation plan for details.
- I personally look at the combined training like an express, mini-MBA in Internet marketing. For some context when looking at the licensing and mastermind costs, consider the costs of a college education, building a brick-and-mortar business, franchise licensing, and the value of mastermind event opportunities that you likely wouldn’t otherwise experience.
- The licensing products include the standalone products they allow you to re-license–you don’t have to pay for the cost of the standalone products over and above the license cost. What I don’t know at this time, however, is what impact, if any, the general MOBE marketplace will have on the licensing model.
- Although many parts of being a MOBE affiliate are marketed as “done for you” (and quite a bit is or can be), it is definitely not a completely hands-off system. In particular, you are still responsible for the first step of bringing in leads in order to earn commissions.
Before I conclude this video, I would just like to add that if you do any significant research, you will likely encounter (at least as of this point in time) a number of web pages suggesting that MOBE or its various programs are, in their authors’ opinions, scams. Please be aware that some critics use a very matter-of-fact tone even though some of their content is erroneous or merely personal opinion. Some critics also appear to me to be mostly setting the stage to pitch their own products.
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