Girls Who Run the World
By Diana Kapp
Illustrated by Bijou Karman

“Girls Who Run the World is a woman-to-woman playbook that spotlights bold businesswomen who have achieved success and done it in their own way. In these pages, Kapp reminds all women that if we work hard as one team and support one another, there is no limit to how far we will go.”
-Madeleine Albright, former secretary of state

Often neglected in history books, girls have been accomplishing great things behind the scenes forever. Who managed the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge when the man who created it got sick? His wife. Who developed the first solar home? A woman. Who invented the first manual windshield wipers? A woman. The list goes on and on. But forget history – there are women out here today who most people have never heard of and they are breaking barriers every day.
Girls Who Run the World features thirty-one women who against all odds have founded amazing businesses, becoming emblems of what is possible. They learned how to speak up, they took big risks with big money, they overreached and made mistakes, and ultimately they believed in their own brains, persisted and hit it big. In this book you will read trade secrets from the front lines of CEO life and insider stories that reveal what it’s really like to be a woman in business with millions of dollars at stake.
This book is a strong yes to moneymaking, an idea that has been pretty taboo for girls for too long. Knapp argues that until women understand money – know how much we have, how much we need, how to invest it, account for it, pay taxes on it, and feel comfortable dealing with it – we are going to finish second, behind the boys. Money is tied to power. Money is tied to everything. It just is.
Sit down with this book, read these stories of the women who created and run businesses like Spanx, Rent the Runway, 23andMe, The Candy Store, Bare Escentuals and Bareminerals, and you will start absorbing their can-do spirit. You will find no easy path to success here, no glossing over of trip-ups. You will find women who put it all on the line for an idea they believed in, who worked hard every step along the way and succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Even if you have no plans to start a business but maybe have been harboring an idea about a project for too long to mention – these women might just give you the push you have been waiting for.
Last but not least, the last section of this book titled, “Now It’s Your Turn,” is a step-by-step primer that covers all the essential basics for creating your own business. The essentials of creating a business plan are clearly laid out here along with tips on how to create your competitive advantage and why it is important to have a mission beyond money. Nothing boosts sales more than a customer’s emotional bond to your company and this happens most powerfully when your business stands for something beyond moneymaking.
Kapp ends with a question for the reader to ask themselves: “What would I do if I knew I could not fail?” She writes, “Let your answer be your true North Star….GO DO THAT. If you do, you will RUN THE WORLD.”

Diana Kapp is a business journalist and a Stanford MBA who has written about education and entrepreneurism for most of the major media outlets. Girls Who Run the World is her first book.
Bijou Karman is an artist and illustrator from Los Angeles. Selected clients include the New Yorker, Nike, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, Penguin Books, The Lost Angeles Times, Glamour and Starbucks.

2020 January Book Commentary