Book Review: Shoe Dog
Updated: May 21, 2019
Author: Phil Knight
Published: April 2016
It’s often difficult when looking at giant global companies to look past the controversies and the constant drive for greater and greater profits or market share. When looking at Nike today we picture famous athletes, cheap labour controversies and a brand that is so ingrained into every corner of the globe.
The book Shoe Dog takes you away from the global brand we all know and into the mind of a very young Phil Knight who is an extremely passionate runner enrolled at the University of Oregon. Who on a gap year after university meets with Japanese shoe makers to import a few Japanese shoes into the US to sell at a price cheaper than Adidas.
Nike is not about some magic idea that turned into a success in a few years. Starting with just 12 shoes, this book paints an honest picture at the hard work that it requires to start any business. Coming back from the brink of failure many times, it comes down to sheer determination and quite frankly also luck that Nike is where it is today.
One of the highlights in this book is the number of interesting characters that played a role in this story. Bill Bowerman a track and field coach at the University of Oregon is one character that stands out as one of the biggest motivators in Phil’s life and goes on to play a massive role in building the business with Phil Knight. Jeff Johnson the first full time employee who thought up the name that no one liked but was better than nothing at the time.
The book is a fascinating story suited for just about anyone.
I started reading this book with high expectations, needless to say it exceeded those expectations.
I give this book 5/5 stars.
Please find the book on amazon here.