The Future of jvAlert and Dunbar’s Number 91

Here’s how jvAlert started:

I’d just created a very successful joint venture with Jim Daniels and I got to thinking.

“If a simple joint venture with Jim could produce a quarter million dollars worth of recurring revenue in six short months, what could I do with MORE joint venture partners.”

So I asked Jim …

“Who would YOU like to joint venture with?”

One by one, we invited some of the top-internet marketers in the world to join us for the brand new jvAlert membership site.

Some of our first members included some real pioneers of the Internet:  Yanik Silver, Mark Joyner, Declan Dunn, Jim Daniels, Willie Crawford, David Garfinkel, Phil Wiley, Robert Imbriale, Neil Shearing, Holly Cotter,  Shawn Collins, and Larry Dotson.

Then we asked them to hand-pick the people THEY wanted to work with.

The place was amazing.

Only the best of the best were in and there was magic going on.  There were list building joint ventures that created over a million subscribers, there were multi-million dollar joint ventures flying around like sea gulls on a 60 MPH updraft.

Then we decided to step things up a bit.

All of our members decided to invite their lists into jvAlert on a single day and in the first day of pre-launch launched into Alexa’s Movers and Shakers List and captured a 362 ranking out of all of the sites on the Internet.


Oddly Enough Having Thousands of New Members was a PROBLEM!

Suddenly the quality of joint ventures went down.  We had thousands of new members who really didn’t have a clue about what a joint venture was, how to create a great one and who didn’t have the experience, resources, drive and credibility to operate at the level that our members expected.

So we scrambled.

We taught people the best ways to create joint ventures and what made up a great proposal.  We stopped automatically sending out proposals to our members and put a manual review and education process into every joint venture offer that went through our system.

Things got a lot better after that.

Next we created the  jvAlert Live Events

I have to tell you that I LOVE jvAlert Live.  At every live event I watch the faces of people who’s lives have changed.  I spend time in person with them and watch them grow and thrive.

And I got a bit lazy …

Actually, it wasn’t so much lazy as busy.  We were doing 5-6 live events a year, my book launched, I took the Impact Action Team on a thrill ride to create awareness for teen suicide prevention … then T obri … the list goes on.

And the jvAlert membership site didn’t get a lot of focus.

Sure was thriving with 3 live events a year, but if you go to today you will see exactly the same webpage as was there on September 15, 2003 when it hit 362 on the Alexa charts.  The site is still by invitation only, but I’ve been hesitant to ask anyone in for quite a while, because it’s past time for a major re-build and relaunch.

Right now is the time to change that.

Now if you are going to relaunch an amazing, historic site like I think you need to do something special.

So whatever I do will be mind-blowing.

One of the problems after the original push to the #362 Alexa ranking was the rush of people who to be honest, just weren’t quite ready for jvAlert membership yet and I want to avoid that mistake this time around.

One of the reasons for the huge SUCCESS was the quality of the people … and the fact that it was by invitation only.

When the masses got involved, the quality of the experience slipped a bit.

Which brings us to …

Dunbar’s Number

According to wikipedia:

“Dunbar’s number is a theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is, and how each person relates to every other person. Proponents assert that numbers larger than this generally require more restricted rules, laws, and enforced norms to maintain a stable, cohesive group. No precise value has been proposed for Dunbar’s number, but a commonly cited approximation is 150.”

Every top-level marketer has the same problem.

You just can’t create quality joint venture’s with everyone.  Thousands of people want you to work with them, promote their products and most of those projects you shouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.

Joint venture success is all about building long-term, DEEP relationships with a core group of  people, you know like and trust and who have demonstrated that they can contribute to your success.

Dunbar says you are going to have trouble building those kind of relationships with more than about 150-200 of those people.

My starting criteria for the relaunch

1. I’m going back to my original model for jvAlert.

We started with just a few people and then allowed them to invite a few people that they personally wanted to work with into the group.

When we changed to having members invite subscribers we got unbelievable traffic and rankings, but the dynamic of the group wasn’t the same.

If you are an existing paid member of don’t worry!

I’m not kicking anyone out and I’m not raising your monthly subscription.  You are definitely grandfathered into the new system and will get all the new benefits, but I am changing the rules for the new jvAlert membership.

2.  Members will need to have skin in the game.

jvAlert membership was launched at $69 per month and quickly raised to $75 per month, which in 2003 was an investment that showed you were serious about creating joint ventures.  We were specifically looking for people who were interested in building a solid on-line business by INVESTING in their business not people just looking for free advertising for their joint venture offers.  There are PLENTY of places willing to put out JUNK offers for nothing.  We are looking only for the best.

I expect to raise the investment to $97 per month to reflect today’s marketplace, so figure if you want to join the all NEW jvAlert at launch, you will have to invest at least $97 per month to be a member.  I know that some people will argue that it should be higher.  That’s the “exclusive” crowd saying those kinds of things, but I’m not trying to force anyone out because of the economics.  I’m not looking for the “exclusive” crowd.  I’m looking for the QUALITY and VALUE crowd.

3.  I’m limiting the total number of members to an effective Dunbar number.

The experts argue on what Dunbar’s number really should be.  Some argue that it should be higher, but I’m pretty convinced that the number is in the 150 – 200 range.

If you’ve ever been to a live event you know that after about 200 people, the dynamics in the room change.  That’s why I’ve always tried to keep the number of people in the room at jvAlert Live below that number. (That’s why we have 3 events a year instead of one HUGE one.

How the jvAlert relaunch will work

1. I’m going to invite a VERY few people – one at a time to join the new jvAlert.

2. I’m going to ask those KEY people to give me advice on how I can create rock-solid value for the group, in the form of a brand new website, new event opportunities (online and offline), services and solid resources.

3. As these individuals commit they will be able to invite a few select individuals who THEY would most like to work with.

4. When we cap out at Dunbar’s number we will close all new invitations, until a spot opens up, so we can keep total membership under Dunbar’s number.

Quickly the website, events and resources will be relaunched and filled with the best of the best.

What you can do right now

1. If you are already a paid member of jvAlert, you don’t need to do a thing.  Everything will be better than ever very soon.

2. If you aren’t a paid member of jvAlert and already KNOW that you want to be a part of this amazing group e-mail me at ken@ any of my websites and let me know.  DEFINITELY,  if I don’t personally know about you and your accomplishments so far, please let me know. I can’t promise you an invitation, but if I think it’s a good match, I’ll add you to the possible invitation list.  Final selections are based on the qualifications and quality of the people who would like to be invited.  It makes sense for everyone for us to invite the best of the best.

3. If you have suggestions for increasing the value, please let me know.  We want to include as much value as humanly possible.  We already know that we will be including attendance at jvAlert Live events and special events which will be held online and offline for our paid members only.

4. If you know of someone who I SHOULD invite in the first round pick, please suggest their names in the comments.  I’m going through my list of the best of the experts and speakers who have participated in our live events,  existing jvAlert members and outstanding thought leaders.  Literally, thousands of people have attended our live events and many of them were just as amazing as our experts on the stage.

Finally …

I’d love all of your suggestions on how I can make this relaunch the best it can possibly be.

Please e-mail me your thoughts or post in the comments here.

Let’s make this special.

All the best,

Ken McArthur

And more, more, more.

About Ken McArthur

Ken challenges us to realize we ALL have an impact – whether we want to or not – on thousands of people who we touch in our day-to-day lives by demonstrating that simple things make a HUGE difference. The popular host of a series of live events that bring together top-level marketers, entrepreneurs, business owners, corporations and non-profit organizations to create multi-million dollar joint venture relationships – he creates incredible, intense impact for product launches and multi-million dollar profits in surprisingly short timeframes. Regularly asked to speak at leading marketing events, he has managed product launches ranked in the top 400 sites on the Internet. Ken McArthur is also the creator of, a pioneering affiliate program search engine and directory system and the founder of the MBS Internet Research Center, which conducted the world’s largest survey ever attempted on the subject of creating and launching successful information products. Not satisfied to concentrate entirely on large organizations, Ken also works with select individuals to help them create a decent living utilizing the power of the Internet. Ken was the official mentor for Sterling Valentine as he took his launch from ZERO to over $100,000 in less than 8 days. Ken and Sterling documented the process as a “proof of concept” for Info Product Blueprint a massive home study course that is the “bible” of info product creation. Ken offers top-level coaching and mentoring programs designed to help individuals, corporations and non-profit organizations reach masses of people using the techniques, tactics strategies and systems that he has developed specifically to help people spread their ideas, products and services around the globe.

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91 thoughts on “The Future of jvAlert and Dunbar’s Number

  • Lee Ann Price


    I am going to post my comments because I “call it as I see it”. Here is my two cents on JVAlertlive – not the membership site. I post this from a participants point of view and meant to be info not to criticize but to let you know how JV Alert Live was experienced by a paying attendee.

    First – I signed up because I believed it was going to be more a a Joint Venture training than pitch event. I was disappointed. To me it was a pitchfest. So, perhaps I didn’t understand the spirit or intention of the event. I agree that relationships were made after hours. But, even so, other than a 30 second opportunity to introduce ourselves to the group there wasn’t anything else that resembled Joint Venture training. I was pitched on outsourcing, marketing and numerous other educational opportunities.

    So you don’t think I’m just whining and complaining – here is what I’d love to attend.

    An event in which all members are asked in advance if it’s ok that our contact details be shared. When we sign up we get a list of all attendees who will be attending and who their ideal client would be, what their ideal JV would look like. This would give us a way to get a head start on the event.

    At the event, I would love to see some Joint Venture training. How to build relationships, how to structure JV deals, etc. Relevant info to the art of Joint Venturing would be incredible.

    Interactivity encouraged during the event. I recently attended an event in which everyone wrote down what service they provided and what kind of JV would be a great fit to them. We all then got the opportunity to present this info to the group. Some amazing relationships were forged by that because presenter was “introduced” to the perfect JV partner.

    I don’t want to make this post lengthy. But, wanted to give you feedback from a customer.

    I have been a lifelong entrepreneur and cherished my customers who would take the time to point out how they were dissatisfied with my service instead of just bailing and not being a customer.

    But, again, perhaps I misinterpreted the intention of JvAlertLive.

    In any event, I admire you and your integrity.

    Lee Ann Price

  • Carol Cheshire

    Ken I have put my two cents in twice. However here is my third cent. Most of your ideas are great but you have to remember there are those of us that do not have more than my three cents to add. I have invested in your ideas for a while but my ability to invest is about to come to an abrupt halt, as the economy effects me i may be doing good to pay for gas and taxes. I will be growing my own food and I have a brown thumb. I am totally on my own with no other support. People that have been able to get a product to produce or website to pay out, are fortunate. Look at this World and the millions in this country that are jobless, homeless and most of all hungry.
    This country spends more on supporting other countries and forgets to look around.
    Have you been to the larger city areas where these people live in cardboard boxes? It is a sad commentary on us. We have soup kitchens , homeless shelters but not enough to acommadate the need. Many have put this off to drugs and insanity this is really not the case.
    I do not know if this what you want to hear but it is some of the thoughts I have had.
    Mentoring programs, places to learn the new devices could give some of the people a chance to find work.
    JVAlert should be a place teaching those who do not have all the abilities others have.
    I know how to take computers apart and reassemble them but not how to do graphics, and many other things you take for granted.

    • Peter Njuguna

      the things we go through in life create who we become
      when i read this post, I see passion, I see determination
      – sometimes we do not need to learn any more new skills – we need to find those that have them, and we can offer what we have. JVAlert is good for this –

  • Shel Horowitz-Green Marketer

    Orlando last month was my first JV Alert. I was extremely impressed by the quality of people I met there, and am exploring collaborations with several–and actively collaborating on a three-way JV that I brought Walt Laurel into.

    I’d love to see the speed-intro thing go longer, and follow it immediately by an hour of open networking where people could follow up easily with two or three of those who introduced themselves in the go-around.

    I’d love to see some even stronger content on the platform.I did feel a lot of the sessions were covering familiar territory–covering it quite decently, but I was left wanting more fresh approaches. Now, I admit this may be colored by my perspective with 17 years marketing on the Internet.

    And for selfish reasons I like locations in the Northeast. Unfortunately, the dates don’t work for me for the DC event. But DC, NYC, Phila, Boston are in general better for me than Orlando, and also offer more flexibility for everyone. In Orlando, you’re pretty much trapped into the conference hotel (which happened to be lovely). Other cities offer a lot more options for getting around by public transit, and therefore many more choices of where to say.

  • Phil Basten

    Hey Ken

    Follow up to the ideas I saherd earlie.

    You’ve got some cool advice to mull over and I agree with MJ on the mail for me and I’ll mail for you model. Seems to me that true JVs are a meeting of the minds and that sharing ideas, concepts, resources we use are more condusive to lasting relationships and friendships than the old models.

    For those who must do the mail for me, or help me launch that model, perhaps the form they fillin should be more specific so they know clearly what value they need to provide. And its not always about money.

    Personally I vote for the mastermind type model. I can think of nothing better that sitting down for an hour or two with masters like MJ, Willie Crawford, Robert Puddy, Ross Goldberg, Yourself, of course, and see how we can help each other reach the stars.

    Phil B.

  • Phil Cullum

    The best way (imho) to think about the role the JValert site can play is to consider it as facilitating a mastermind group: People helping people with mutual respect and generous good will. That foundational philosophy can guide the re-design and re-launch.


    • Shirley Youg

      This is a great way to go. No one feels like a lesser-than person, no one fighting their way to the top.
      If it’s not done with the mutual respect and generous good will, I don’t believe it will work.

  • Peter Njuguna

    Every time I review the deepening comments, there is still a question at the core that eludes my grasp. To clarify, imagine and compare these two hypothetical situations:

    Situation 1
    Person A : Hi B, why don’t we meet at (place X) and we can discuss what i do and what you do? Am sure together we can create something better than I and you have independently?

    Person B: Yes, since we are both positive people and want to live decent lives from the IM space, we could find a few friends and see what we come up with.

    Situation 2
    Person A: Hi B, how did you do with that document I sent you? I outlined how we created a successful program, and we now want to change that to a new format. Do you agree with the goals that were presented? Do you think the proposed concept would really work in the IM space? Would such a program really address the question of junk in the IM space?

    Person B: Well A, good to see you today … ahh, am kind of in a hurry right now ( :/) !, but why dont we meet early next month? I will put down some of the fundamental concepts and lessons i have learned in my xy years of internet marketing in advance and email you so we can kind of move towards a common understanding.

    Person A: Great idea. Some of my most successful friends have actually given me ideas on phone or on my blog – I will compile those also. Thanks, have a great one.

    {Person A to himself: do i even remember what expert z said? do i have the time to compile? should i pay a personal assistant? – outsource? get volunteers?, etc etc}

    Long story short:
    People will focus quicker and move forward if they find some goal created which they are asked to contribute to. Goals can be expanded to include new aspects suggested by an already cohesive working group.

    It is my opinion therefore that an initial definition of a vision/goal be clarified. ie This is what JV Alert has become, but we wanted it to go this way. or we want to get to the next level where our goal is to achieve abc …

    Perhaps I over-think details, but details do matter … anyone agree?

  • Carol Cheshire

    Rock solid value can only come from the source. Remember Jesus said “I will build my church on this rock.”
    Thus, you must produce information that meets the needs of every member, no matter how weak the member is. Some are concerned with their ability to have a viable product that would warrant a joint venture. Others are concerned with the ability to build a good list to sell their wares. Of course a good joint venture would have to include all of this.
    Some work alone on their own material and wonder how can this be acceptable.