Old MLM Proverb Works for Widget Marketing, Too

Someone wise once gave me a great rule of thumb for determining what's a pyramid/Multi-Level Marketing scheme and what's a legit business.

If your income potential depends more on how many people you recruit to sell than on how much product you move yourself, it's probably a pyramid scheme.

I've been thinking about how that applies to widget marketing.  If your widget prioritizes pass-along above the utility it provides to the end user, it's probably more of a scheme than a legit business-building tool.