Review of Shoe Dog

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8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


It’s almost surprising what a monster bestseller this autobiography by Nike founder and boss Phil Knight became. He offers no stories of glamorous superstar-athlete endorsements. In fact, his few stories of signing up athletes totally lack flash. He doesn’t provide details of backstage partying at Super Bowls or World Series games. He offers no insights into famous Nike endorsers like Michael Jordan. And he gives scant information about Nike’s rise to become the unprecedented superpower dominating the most wide-ranging consumer product in the world today: sports gear. Knight tells a much simpler, intensely personal story of his growing up, his world travels, his first interest in footwear, his time as a runner at the University of Oregon, his early ventures selling Onitsuka “Tiger” shoes and the slow gestation of the homemade retail company that – to everyone’s surprise, including Knight’s – became Nike. You see Nike grow in his recounting of episodes from its earliest struggles and triumphs. Knight provides memorable, vivid portraits of compelling, quixotic characters, such as legendary University of Oregon running coach and shoe-design pioneer Bill Bowerman and equally legendary, inspirational champion runner Steve Prefontaine. Knight’s continual jousting with his Japanese customers, partners and adversaries is also compelling. The stories of his adventures with the Japanese make this book an engaging read and a fount of worthy lessons for entrepreneurs. getAbstract recommends this unusual, insightful self-portrait to those trying to start companies, to fans of Nike and to anyone striving to make a business dream work.

About the Author

Phil Knight founded Nike Inc. and was CEO from 1964 to 2004, and board chairman until 2016.


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