Shoe Dog By Phil Knight

“An honest tale of what it takes to succeed in business” - Review by Bill Gates

Nike is one of the most iconic brands in the world. Everyone from a child to a retiree know what that “Swoosh” stands for. So how did Nike become one of the largest brands/companies in the world, and what’s the true story behind its success?

Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, takes on a journey from his life to when he started Nike to where the company is today. He tells the story with everything included. He doesn’t shy away from speaking about the early failures Nike had, the business politics he had to play in order to succeed, the grunt work that he and his early employees to do in order to make ends meet. It’s the most satisfying acknowledgement of a true entrepreneur because it encompasses all the good and the bad.

Phil discuss everything from using a hot iron to create the soles of the early shoes to setting up major partnerships with distributors around the world. The famous “Swoosh” logo that we all desire on our shoes and clothes was created by an art student that Phil paid $35 too. He didn’t even like it, yet he had to go with it during that time. Even the name of the company “Nike” was by accident. Phil wanted to call it Dimension Six, yet again he didn’t have the time to do it. Phil is brutally honest about the accidental success of Nike, which is eye-opening in the era where most entrepreneurship books have the same exact story: a person comes up with an idea, they work excruciatingly hard on it for a few years, they receive funding, then grow the company to billions of dollars in revenue. That is hardly ever true. Maybe in the last 50 years there might be 1 - 2 companies that ever fit that description.

The best part of the book in my opinion is that he never sells you on the dream of entrepreneurship or creating your own company. He doesn’t give you list of things to do in order to succeed. He doesn’t feed you false information on how to build a company or even hint at methods he used to build his company. He just tells his story in the most honest way possible.

Thanks Phil for being honest and telling us the journey you’ve faced in creating Nike.