And real loose it is, although there are facts in it too.
But the most important thing to know coming into this series is that there’s more girl than boss. Which is actually great, because girls are great. But people might have the idea this is a How It Was All Done dramatization of events that built the actual business and it’s just not the case. Anyone looking for a How It Was Done should probably read the book (which is what I want to do; Hold placed at the library).
This is a must-see. It’s hilarious. It’s dramatic. It’s hip and modern. And, probably best of all, each episode is just a half hour. There’s none of the dreaded bloat that sometimes seems to be in hour-long series made for streaming services. (Believe it or not, network TV once upon a time actually had many half-hour dramatic series. And they were good. T.H.E. Cat, Honey West, Johnny Staccato, and more. Streaming services need to bring this format back! Not everything needs an hour.)
What I want to focus on now are the two lessons to be learned from the real-life Nasty Gal.
As I’ve stated several times, when you get on the Venture Capital hamster wheel, you’re just asking for trouble:
In 2012, as Amoruso has written about in #GIRLBOSS, the company brought on its first investors, Index Ventures, raising an eye-popping $40 million to grow the business. But it’s then, a former employee says, that the culture subtly began to change: “I think when the investors came in there was a lot of pressure. Pressure for us to be bigger. They wanted more profit, they wanted more product, they wanted to expand.”
And, from a different article linked to below:
“Venture capitalists like things that they can get into early and that have gigantic exit potential,” Bloom says. “They’re generally not in the business of hitting doubles.” They’re also not generally in the business of pushing for profitability, but instead high valuations.
I haven’t read her book yet, but given the way it all melted down, I can’t help wondering if she had gone after being immediately big instead of being successful over the long run. There were probably many, many factors at work, some of which have to do with being a woman too. Factors men wouldn’t face. On the other hand, she admitted she wasn’t cut out to be a business person — I can relate to that — so there’s that to consider too.
Anyway, to get back to the series, it’s reallllly worth seeing. There’s not a bad performance in it, not a bad line of dialogue, not one bit of bloat or self-indulgence in the directing. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t nominated for some awards.
And I don’t care that the real-life arc of Nasty Gal isn’t a happy ending. I still want a second season of this. It can end with her hiring the new “girlboss,” just as this first one ends with the establishment of her own Nasty Gal website.
I don’t think this trailer is very good, but don’t let it dissuade you from seeing the series:
Additional (in the order in which I read them):
What Is Sophia Amoruso Doing Now? The Real Life ‘Girlboss’ Is Still Taking Care Of Business
Nasty Gal’s Path to Bankruptcy
The real Girlboss: the rise and fall of Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso
‘Everything Really Hit Rock Bottom’: How Nasty Gal’s Culture Went Nasty
Nasty Gal: What Went Wrong?
4 Takeaways From the Rise and Fall of Nasty Gal
Final additional (spoilers! read after watching the series!):
Everything Netflix’s ‘Girlboss’ Gets Right (and Wrong) About the Nasty Gal Story
— interestingly, they leave out any mention of Sophia’s mother, which was its own touching episode.