A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
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In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.
Young, searching, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed fifty dollars from his father and launched a company with one simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost running shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his Plymouth Valiant, Knight grossed eight thousand dollars that first year, 1963. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In this age of start-ups, Knight’s Nike is the gold standard, and its swoosh is more than a logo. A symbol of grace and greatness, it’s one of the few icons instantly recognized in every corner of the world.
But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always been a mystery. Now, in a memoir that’s surprising, humble, unfiltered, funny, and beautifully crafted, he tells his story at last. It all begins with a classic crossroads moment. Twenty-four years old, backpacking through Asia and Europe and Africa, wrestling with life’s Great Questions, Knight decides the unconventional path is the only one for him. Rather than work for a big corporation, he will create something all his own, something new, dynamic, different. Knight details the many terrifying risks he encountered along the way, the crushing setbacks, the ruthless competitors, the countless doubters and haters and hostile bankers—as well as his many thrilling triumphs and narrow escapes. Above all, he recalls the foundational relationships that formed the heart and soul of Nike, with his former track coach, the irascible and charismatic Bill Bowerman, and with his first employees, a ragtag group of misfits and savants who quickly became a band of swoosh-crazed brothers.
Together, harnessing the electrifying power of a bold vision and a shared belief in the redemptive, transformative power of sports, they created a brand, and a culture, that changed everything.
repetitive retired rogue
Inciteful,honest, down to earth protrayal of my fraternity brother ten years prior. A real life hero to our capitalist movement and the ingenuity to get it right. Forthwright appraisal of go getter who loves life almost as much as shoe dogging it!. Thank You bother Phil, Perge.!.
Excellent read full of heart and worth reading.
A must read for entrepreneurs
I've always wanted to know more about the early years of the Nike brand and this book answers all of my questions. Phil Knight candidly shares his initial vision of a shoe company for athletes and how he went about making it a reality. What most people don't realize is that the company was built by selling one pair of shoes at a time, shoes that were manufactured in the Far East with uncertain quality control and delivery schedules. The challenges they faced in the early years should scare the crap out of those who aspire to create a brand name that requires anything manufactured. Their sales effort in the early years was pretty impressive but yet the constant growth created an almost infinite demand for capital. It's amazing the sacrifices that were made by Phil and his early Nike associates to keep operating from month to month with so very little in cash reserves. I can't see that being replicated today.
The excellent storytelling made this a quick read for a biography. Phil Knight's detailed reminisces and honest writing style had me reading whenever I could find time during my day. I especially enjoyed his wrap up comments and lessons learned in the last section. I actually wish it covered some more of the company history after Nike went public but I guess that is covered in other business books. I recommend this book for anyone who has ever bought a Nike product, anyone contemplating starting a business and anyone running a small business wondering if they should keep going.