The unfortunate downside for the competitive nature of the industry is that an economy has emerged where well-funded companies are able to project an image of success through vanity metrics without being profitable, well-structured companies.
They use strategic discounting and incentive programs supported by their funding rounds, chasing customer acquisition with short term losses in the name of long term customer loyalty gains.
Imagine if this generation of entrepreneurial women she helped to create can learn from someone who failed before them?
They may avoid failure themselves, or at least have a different understanding of what failure means.
The question then becomes who's eating whose lunch?
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There are plenty of things I admire about Sophia Amoruso, not least of which is that she inspired an entire generation of young women to believe, "If she can do it, so can I." That's huge.It doesn't take long to find brand loyalists expressing disappointment on Nasty Gal's social media.The early days of social media marketing looked promising for millennial entrepreneurs as social networks built their user bases in part by encouraging brands to use their new networks as free promotion, and Amoruso is well known for having built her business on that premise.Amoruso shared it all on Instagram, beginning with an image of herself in her office bidding farewell to her company.Via fleeting posts to her Story, she added a few nostalgic images and shoutouts to team members.She closed the story with a note that said, "There's more, but I had to gush.We paved the way for copycats who eventually ate our lunch.Examples include: Mod Cloth (.7M), Bonobos (7M 0M currently in talks), and the lesser known, but most significant to me, Lolly Wolly Doodle (.7M, based on their success selling children's clothing through Facebook marketing and on demand manufacturing).Amoruso and company are a sign that applying the startup model to fashion retail is not as simple as that formula.When this realm of digital marketing became pay to play, the landscape shifted dramatically.To have expected those services to remain free was naive, and the truth is they offer a considerable value to business with the budgets to pay for them.