Reading list17 December 2022by Philip

Book recap – Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

“Shoe Dog” is a memoir written by Phil Knight, the co-founder and former CEO of Nike, Inc. The book chronicles Knight’s journey as an entrepreneur, from the inception of Nike as a small startup in the 1960s to its evolution into a global corporation.

Throughout the book, Knight reflects on the challenges and triumphs he experienced while building Nike, including the company’s early struggles to find funding and the many controversies and legal battles it faced. He also shares insights on leadership, innovation, and the importance of company culture.

“Shoe Dog” is a candid and personal account of Knight’s experiences as a business leader, and offers a unique perspective on the growth and success of Nike. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of Nike, or in the stories of successful entrepreneurs.

Shoe Dog by Phil KnightClick here

Here are the main points of the book:

  1. Phil Knight was a runner and aspiring businessman in the 1960s.
  2. He had an idea to import low-cost, high-quality running shoes from Japan and sell them in the US.
  3. He co-founded Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS) with his track coach Bill Bowerman in 1964.
  4. Knight traveled to Japan and struck a deal with Onitsuka Tiger (now ASICS) to import their shoes.
  5. BRS struggled in its early years, facing competition from larger companies and challenges with importing and distributing the shoes.
  6. In 1971, Knight decided to rename the company Nike, after the Greek goddess of victory.
  7. Nike quickly gained popularity, thanks in part to innovative designs and marketing strategies.
  8. Nike faced numerous legal battles, including a trademark lawsuit from Adidas and a lawsuit over unpaid royalties from Nike’s “swoosh” logo.
  9. Knight was known for being a demanding and intense boss, but he also valued his employees and their well-being.
  10. Nike faced criticism for its labor practices in the 1980s and 1990s, leading to efforts to improve conditions in its factories.
  11. Knight retired as CEO of Nike in 2004, but remained involved with the company as chairman of the board.
  12. He reflected on his experiences and lessons learned in “Shoe Dog,” a memoir published in 2016.
  13. The book covers Knight’s personal and professional life, including his relationship with his wife, his struggles with depression, and his experiences as an entrepreneur.
  14. Knight writes about the challenges and setbacks he faced, as well as the lessons he learned from them.
  15. He discusses the importance of perseverance and innovation, and how he applied these principles to build Nike into a successful company.
  16. Knight also writes about the role that luck and chance played in his life and career.
  17. He reflects on the importance of having a clear vision and staying true to it, even when faced with obstacles.
  18. Knight talks about the importance of relationships and how they helped him and Nike succeed.
  19. He writes about the role of mentors and advisors in his life, and how they influenced his decisions and growth as a leader.
  20. Knight discusses the role of risk and how he learned to embrace it in order to achieve success.
  21. He reflects on the role of failure and how it can be a valuable learning experience.
  22. Knight writes about the importance of trust and honesty in business, and how he tried to foster these values within Nike.
  23. He discusses the role of culture and values in building a successful company.
  24. Knight writes about the importance of staying agile and adaptable in the face of changing market conditions and competition.
  25. He reflects on the role of leadership and how he learned to be a better leader over time.
  26. Knight writes about the importance of vision and how it shaped the direction of Nike.
  27. He discusses the role of creativity and innovation in Nike’s success.
  28. Knight writes about the role of passion and how it fueled his drive to succeed.
  29. He reflects on the role of purpose and how it motivated him and his team to achieve their goals.
  30. Knight writes about the role of legacy and how he hopes his work at Nike will be remembered.

To buy the book click here