Thursday, June 25, 2015

Book Review: Girl Boss

Is success really this easy?  Is it really simple to build a multi-million company from nothing in just a few short years?  From being broke and without health insurance to be the CEO of a company that has revenue at over $100 million (2015 revenue according to, the author of this book is the poster child of one of those "rags-to-riches" stories.  The book is short and very easy to read but it lacks details on giving much useful business advice that wasn't already retold a million times elsewhere.  From the way the book was written, the author seemed to have lived in a dream all those years, albeit a sweet one. It's because the story is so vague and so lack of details in so many ways that it resembles a really good dream when the good life just breezes by.  I'm sure there was lots of hard work involved but the book made "striking rich" sound so easy.  The clothing business isn't an innovative business, neither is selling vintage fashion on Ebay an original "golden" idea. The book didn't provide much detailed information on how exactly the author's business beat out the crowd to become the $100+million company today.  Besides, all the book talks about is the sales revenue.  It didn't say much about profit.  $100+ million sales revenue a year is very impressive but how much profit is this sales figure generating?  Besides, is this sales figure audited by any accounting firm?  How is Nasty Girl compared to Baby Phat as a business other than the somewhat difference in fashion style? Tossing big sales revenue figure makes the story sounds spectacular but in the end it's the net profit that matters.  Afterall, where is the once very famous Baby Phat nowadays (when it used to have $900++ million annual sales revenue)?  

The book spends more pages on detailing  the author's  very mundane hitchhiking and drifting early years than solid advice and specific strategies on how to successfully start and grow a profitable business.  Venture capital plays a very important role in the success of Nasty Girl Inc, very much like the role of a model scout from an elite model agency, without whom, there is no super model.  But how can a start-up get discovered by the venture capital without relying on pure luck or a chance encounter?  The book doesn't provide detailed advice on that.

Overall, it's a nice little book to read by the beach.  But for readers who are serious about starting and growing a competitive and profitable business other than the general "feel good" encouragement, we need to read a book that is more substantial on strategic information.