The Amway business is a level playing field. At least that's what my upline told us when I was an IBO. That everyone starts at zero. While that is somewhat true, there were other factors that existed, that most IBOs did nto know about. That factor is the possibility of PV manipulation. I believe that groups that are not on direct fulfillment (Groups still calling in and picking up) are able to transfer PV around. Thus certain groups or favored downline could be manufactured into higher pins. I believe most groups are currently on direct fulfillment but I did confirm about less than a year ago that some groups still are on call in and pick up.
But let's examine the concept that everyone starts at zero. While this aspect may be true, certain people are simply better at selling, or better and more adept at socializing and talking to others. So while your PV count may be zero, the skills needed to start and run a business is not a level playing field for most. I believe uplines state this to give prospects the idea that everyone has an equal chance at succeeding in Amway. I just cannot believe this to be true. Even current diamonds, while having achieved a certain level, probably could not "start at zero" and build a diamondship again.
Thus when you really think about it, the "old timers" of the diamonds should actually be given less credibility than the newer ones. Do you really believe that a diamond or higher pin who built his business in the 1970's can really teach people in 2009 how to build the business in a way to address people in 2009, and the fact that the business is mostly internet based as opposed to the old days.
It is easy to stand on stage, tell people how great you are, show off material wealth and then tell prospects that everyone starts at zero and that anyone can build the business. I do not believe that it is true. I also strongly suspect that very few (if any) of the current diamonds would be able to "start at zero" and build a new diamondship here in the US, where the reputation and shrinking sales would be handicaps too great to overcome for the vast majority of propsective IBOs. I recall back in 2005 or 2006, an LOS had some kind of commitment to personal growth amongst the diamonds and above. I do not believe much fruit was grown out of that effort.