You in addition to the business you represent have suffered a lot of criticism lately, especially with the criticism from SvD and Breakit. How do you approach their concerns, and how does it feel to be criticized for this?
-I have been working with networking for 20 years and I think that the main criticism is rather directed towards the industry as a whole. Oriflame, Herbalife, and most other companies with traditional means of marketing have made the same journey and received similar interrogations and criticism of what the Crowd1 business is receiving now. I do not mind being questioned, as long as it is done in a fair way. Unfortunately, though, the review that we are currently dealing with has been very partial and has featured a lot of miss information, errors, and straight out lies.
-We were observant of this through the various email conversations we had with the editors of the media outlets as they did not reply to our concerns.
Do you think their description of your business and the industry is correct?
-No, they do not understand the Crowd1 business, that is why they are constantly drawing incorrect conclusions and drawing parallels to other companies with a dark past. Most multinational companies today have some form of incentive for existing customers to recommend and to affiliate new customers to them, by for instance offering them discounts and other types of beneficial rewards. Circle K, SAS, and American Express are just a few examples of companies that are using this strategy. We are really just doing the same thing, however, just like Uber and Airbnb, we are doing it in a new and revolutionary way. We are the next generation of online networking and we are for the first time ever opening up for one of the world's largest markets for millions of people to benefit from, a market that was previously closed and only available for a handful of large international companies such as Facebook, Google, etc.
-In modern times, most people in the world spend hours upon hours every day on the Internet without earning anything. They are constantly creating content and building value for just a few international companies. With Crowd1, everyone will have an equal chance to make money on their time online and create real value for themselves.
Then explain why your business is not a pyramid scheme and the differences between Crowd1 and a pyramid scheme?
-The short explanation is that a pyramid scheme is only about the money. A game where the money is moved upwards in the structure, that is the concrete definition. With us, it does not cost anything to become a member and you do not make money by involving other people into the Crowd1 community. You make money when your network sells products. I have attempted to communicate this to the media outlets, however, they have chosen not to listen. During the Crowd1 pre-launch, we have had a limited number of products, but at least it has always been about the products. We would not have been able to sign the agreements and make the arrangements that we are currently doing if these interesting proposals came to us 6 months ago. Now that we are millions of members, we are receiving offers from several companies, and now it is simply about choosing the best products that suit our company and our members.
What do you think the incompetence and unawareness of network sales are caused by?
-Unfortunately, some unserious parties with malicious intent are sometimes attracted to the industry which makes it difficult for serious companies to create long-term and sustainable businesses. If any media were to make a neutral and impartial article about online networking, there is a great possibility that it would function as advertisement and promotion for us. We are changing financial conditions and statuses around the world, however, that does not headline as well as “pyramid scheme” and “scam” does.
How can it be possible that SvD and Breakit both misunderstood the differences between a pyramid scheme and multi-level marketing?
-SvD and Breakit have actively chosen not to receive and feature the information we have given them, as this would refute their arguments and the negative narration of their article series. It is clear that they had already decided on this narration and were not interested in withdrawing from this.
-In fact, I think most people today have a good look at what a pyramid scheme is and what a serious business is, therefore, there is no need to even try to influence the readers on their preexisting views.
How long have you been working with Network Sales?
-I have been working with networking for about 20 years. In 1999, when the telecom market was deregulated in Sweden, I worked with an American telecom company. The Swedish telecom company Telia had a monopoly on telephony in Sweden, and now there are some 40 new players that quickly emerged in the market. In one year we were second largest in Sweden after Telia. Members sold cheaper telephony solutions and received commissions on the telephone bills of the people they affiliated. Does that sound like a pyramid scheme to you?
What is your background and how did you get into this type of business?
-I studied at the university and when I first came into contact with networks and industry I saw the potential very quickly. Already during high school, I ran my own companies and have always had a love for entrepreneurship.
What does the future look like for Crowd1 and how has the criticism affected you?
-The future of the Crowd1 movement looks very bright. I can hardly believe the incredible success that we have experienced, with almost 7 million members. But the truth is that we are just getting started.
-Spotify has a vision and goal to become one billion users. I do not see why we can not achieve the same results. It may sound overconfident but we are a new confident company and we thrive to give people all over the world an opportunity to take part and to create their own value in the world's largest market.
-Covid-19 is tragic in many aspects but purely for business reasons, we have exploded. When people were forced to stay at home, many realised that a mobile and home-based business that everyone can have in parallel with their usual work is a perfect solution and to create safe personal finance without damaging existing circumstances.
What do your employees, partners, and all salespeople in the organisation say about the interrogation that you have recently experienced?
-The criticism has only done us good. On one hand, this will cause us to be crystal clear on all points in the future in order to avoid misunderstandings, and for me personally, it is an opportunity to show that the industry and our company works and is successful.
-We are a tight team and we work and almost live together. If you have seen the movie about the Facebook startup then you will understand what I am talking about. None of our employees or partners had put that much energy, time, and commitment into something they do not believe in 100%.
-The feeling that “we are going to prove them wrong" is truly an important and strong driving force for everyone who intends to reach the top in any field. We make sure to constantly inform and update people about what is happening within the company. On the 4th of July, we have our second Crowd1 World Event where we will for about three hours give millions of members from all over the world the Senate news and the introduction from the company.
Crowd1 has received a lot of criticism even in other countries, what will be the lessons learned and what measures are you planning to take in order to meet the criticism?
-We have a team in media relations who all are very professional, we will handle the criticism in a correct and informative manner. I must agree that sometimes I get frustrated when it feels like journalists and the media outlets do not even want to understand, but in the end, that is their problem, not ours.
-On a global scale, we intend to open local offices and recruit management in more markets and cultures in order to create a better understanding of our members and clients. Business culture varies in different parts of the world and in the vision of becoming a billion members worldwide we must act to be as close to our members as possible.
If you are interested in reading more about how Crowd1 refutes the arguments and criticism from media outlets, be sure to read our article about when Johan Staël von Holstein challenges Swedish media outlets
And, if you want to read more about misconceptions and accusations regarding Crowd1 and the business structure, please read our article about Common myths about network marketing.