Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike (Paperback)
Bill Gates named Shoe Dog one of his five favorite books of the year and called it “an amazing tale, a refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like. It’s a messy, perilous, and chaotic journey, riddled with mistakes, endless struggles, and sacrifice. Phil Knight opens up in ways few CEOs are willing to do.”
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 car in 1963, Knight grossed eight thousand dollars that first year. 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 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. In Shoe Dog, he tells his story at last. At twenty-four, Knight decides that rather than work for a big corporation, he will create something all his own, new, dynamic, different. He details the many risks he encountered, the crushing setbacks, the ruthless competitors and hostile bankers—as well as his many thrilling triumphs. Above all, he recalls the 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 transformative power of sports, they created a brand—and a culture—that changed everything.
"A fresh historical perspective on one of the most profiled companies in the world." —ESPN.com
“A refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like. . . . Knight opens up in a way few CEOs are willing to do. . . . It’s an amazing tale.”—Bill Gates, one of his favorite books of 2016
"The best memoir I recall ever reading. As a business biography, it ranks with such recent works as Neal Gabler’s Disney and Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs. But as a personal memoir Shoe Dog reaches a depth of emotional honesty that even the best biographies haven’t touched."—Rich Karlgaard, Forbes
“A fascinating warts-and-all account of the company’s early years, a rascally tale of scrappiness and survival, a great read.”—Motley Fool
“A rare and revealing look at the notoriously media-shy man behind the swoosh.”—Booklist (starred review)
"Shoe Dog is, at its heart, an origin story, of both a global brand and a footwear lifer . . . it reads like pure adventure story, boys facing steeper and steeper challenges and finding ways through, often by the skin of their teeth. As Knight collects the misfits and oddballs who become the core of his growing company, Shoe Dog is more like The Lord of the Rings than a typical mogul memoir."—Complex
“‘The best book I read last year. Phil is . . . a gifted storyteller.”—Warren Buffett