This is a beautifully narrated memoir by Phil Knight who started the company: NIKE. Shoe dog is a term used in the book to describe a person who extremely knowledgeable and more importantly passionate about shoes. This is a kind of book that every entrepreneur should read. Phil Knight takes us through the journey of starting Nike and many trials and tribulations he suffered in doing so. These range from having to overcome his father’s cynicism about shoe business, lack of faith from his athletics coach who eventually becomes his partner and his “ R & D” resource, to his bank refusing to extend him credit and him having to find alternative sources of funding.
This book is about entrepreneurial resilience, it’s about building a team of people committed to a cause; juggling work and family responsibility, it’s about being able to trust those you employ and leveraging their strengths through delegated responsibility. Most importantly this book is a demonstration of passion and commitment to a dream. Nike is now a major shoe brand and Phil Knight concedes that as much as he and his team worked hard to build the business, there was an element of luck that helped them achieve their success.
Extract from the book
‘A refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like … It’s an amazing tale’ Bill Gates
‘The best book I read last year was Shoe Dog, by Nike’s Phil Knight. Phil is a very wise, intelligent and competitive fellow who is also a gifted storyteller’ Warren Buffett
In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the boot of his Plymouth, Knight grossed $8000 in his first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of start-ups, Nike is the ne plus ultra of all start-ups, and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognisable symbols in the world today.
But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always remained a mystery. Now, for the first time, he tells his story. Candid, humble, wry and gutsy, he begins with his crossroads moment when at 24 he decided to start his own business. He details the many risks and daunting setbacks that stood between him and his dream – along with his early triumphs. Above all, he recalls how his first band of partners and employees soon became a tight-knit band of brothers. Together, harnessing the transcendent power of a shared mission, and a deep belief in the spirit of sport, they built a brand that changed everything.
A memoir rich with insight, humour and hard-won wisdom, this book is also studded with lessons – about building something from scratch, overcoming adversity, and ultimately leaving your mark on the world.