I was gonna drop this as a difference of opinion discussed adequately. But my last two days have seen a remarkable amount of real world relevance to this topic...
WhiteElk you are wrong, plain and simple.
The advertising/distribution/marketing IS a Pyramid 'scheme' process as it's a mathematical progression. I can't help it if you are lost in semantics for whatever reason but so be it.
It's not semantics, its definition
. People are hurt by pyramid schemes. It enriches some at the expense of others. Call it evil, call it dastardly, call it bad. I've seen the suffering firsthand. I very much have something against pyramid schemes. Calling the Google method of invites a pyramid scheme, is just wrong. It's not even close. Ask the victims.
As I said in one of my earliest posts...
It is not the distribution that defines a pyramid scheme; it is the remuneration. The term Pyramid Scheme means something. Your use of it here is nothing more than some cranky dude hijacking the term for his own selfish misuse. All sorts of things follow a mathematical progression which can be defined as pyramidical progression. Hell, studies have demonstrated how a human smile and other positive salutations will follow a pyramidical progression. There are a plethora of things which follow pyramid progression. They are NOT Pyramid Schemes unless they are venture enterprise which bases it's gains solely on recruitment of new investors. <<< Pyramid Scheme means that, and only that. Pyramid distribution however, is a wide term encompassing even the passing of a smile from one stranger to another. I can't help but think you understand this but want to dis Google cuz you don't like them for whatever reason.
It ultimately costs THEM nothing in advertising their service....they don't letter-drop...door knock....take TV time....whatever. No, they "employ" their own users/customers to Advertise FOR them. They subversively 'trick' their users into spending time and/or effort passing on these 'invites' to others for no fee for work done....none offered....none given.
I gotta laugh at this. First thing, I am one who is twenty years fed up with marketing crap. TV, radio, print... its all a bunch of bullshit. Companies say what they will for the purpose of selling their product. They organize fake panels to say "9 of 10 dentists agree that chewing this sugar laced gum is good for your teeth". They misuse terms like "homestyle" and "best in class" the way you use pyramid schemes. I turn blind eyes, ears and mind to advertising. And I sure as hell don't want marketers knocking on my door, ringing me on the phone, and stuffing my mailbox with their horseshit. I look to user recommendations. Maybe that's why I don't inherently have a problem with Google Invites. I respect word of mouth advertising. I actively look for it when in need of convincing. I totally ignore TV, radio and print ads. Garbage in, garbage out. I don't bother with it at all.
But I'd think you Jafo, might also understand the power of word of mouth advertising? Your job may very well be due to it. Without this form of advertising, your company may never have been in position to hire for your services. I can't count the number of times I've read your boss speaking of how word of mouth advertising has been crucial to Stardocks success. I have never seen a radio, TV, or print ad from your company. Unless you count software product reviews as paid advertisements.. which they do appear to be nowadays. The reason I came to know about Stardock and its products, is because of the users you 'subversively tricked' into talking about your products and company. I can't count the number of posts and articles I have read where your CEO clearly puts product X's success as a result of word of mouth advertising. And day before yesterday I am reading archives of the CivFanatics website and there is Draginol aka Frogboy aka Brad Wardell speaking of how GalCiv2 reached best seller status due to users telling other users about how great the game was. Today I google TweakUI and I find him talking in some odd forum about how Object Desktops success is due to word of mouth advertising. I don't get your problem with companies relying on customers to share the good word. I just don't get it.