Fifteen years ago today was a milestone event in the history of the Amway business.
For months leading up to it, “9-1-99” was a hugely anticipated moment when the then-40-year-old business formed a North American sister company that moved onto the Internet under a new name, Quixtar.com.
It would prove to be a short-lived phase. Eight years later, the company dropped the name, shifting back to Amway for all of its operations.
Along the way, the corporation and its many Independent Business Owners (IBOs), myself included, found the move online to be a double-edged sword.
On the positive side, it opened up the potential for growth, through ease of communication with people all over the country and the world who could be sponsored as IBOs, as well as through ordering products over the Internet.
At the same time, though, moving so much of the communication about the business, and the business opportunity, onto the web had an adverse effect: the corporation dove into a virtual ocean that exposed IBOs and prospective distributors to no-holds-barred communication.
That communication included a relatively small number of Amway critics who spewed negative about the company, often based on narrow experiences they allegedly had with one or a small number of people associated with the business.
And on the Internet, as we all know, negative quickly rises to the forefront, even if it’s in the scant minority.
At this end of the spectrum, a tiny fraction of people have used the World Wide Web’s potential to serve as a limitless forum to vent their spleens and grind their axes over various complaints—some of which may have validity, but most of which are overstated, imagined or just plain loopy.
Unfortunately for Amway, it has sometimes resulted in a skewed portrait of people’s experiences with the company and its distributors.
Yes, millions of IBOs have had positive experiences of the Amway business over the decades, including some who have achieved great success, such as World Wide Group (WWDB) founders and Amway Founders Crowns Ron and Georgia Lee Puryear and Amway Founders Diamonds Dean and Marcie Whalen.
Among the most recent examples of WWDB’s successful teaching and training system, the Whalens attended their first Free Enterprise Days conference in 2006, as the business was in its last year using the Quixtar name.
Today, Sept. 1, 2014, Amway is 15 years older, 15 years wiser—and still one of the best business opportunities in the world, no matter what it’s named.