With her online clothing retailer, Nasty Gal, Sophia Amoruso tapped into a young, female demographic that adored her products and message of empowerment. But in January, less than a year after telling Fast Company that her startup was “leagues behind where it should be”—and publishing a book of business lessons entitled #GirlBoss—Amoruso announced she’d be stepping down as the retailer’s CEO and assuming a more creative role in its branding efforts.
Milestones: Nasty Gal opened its first brick-and-mortar location, in L.A., last fall. Under new CEO Sheree Waterson, a Santa Monica location will launch this spring.
Challenges: The company’s growth has
reportedly slowed since revenue hit $100 million in 2012, leaving investors concerned and 10% of Nasty Gal employees without jobs.
“Part of being a #GIRLBOSS (and just a decent human being) is about playing to your strengths.”
— Sophia Amoruso, Nasty Gal founder
Milestones: Sproxil, whose technology weeds out fake drugs in developing countries, partnered with Malaria No More in January to allow the not-for-profit to mine its data to track outbreaks.
Challenges: Sproxil’s data risks dilution. Many people take antimalarial drugs only to learn that they don’t have malaria.
Milestones: IThe NBA partnered with Samsung in February to allow distant fans to catch 360-degree views of basketball games using the electronics giant’s new Oculus Rift–supported Gear Virtual Reality headset.
Challenges: For now, VR users will only be able to watch games after they’ve been played.
“When the day comes that a billion people from China can feel like they’re attending a Houston Rockets game courtside, that’s the holy grail.”
— Jeff Marsilio, VP, global media distribution at the NBA
Milestones: In January, riding on a $40 billion valuation high, CEO Travis Kalanick promised to create 50,000 jobs and take 400,000 vehicles off the road in Europe.
Challenges: Uber was ordered to halt operations in South Carolina and Madrid; Kalanick was indicted in South Korea for providing illegal rides.