A Memoir By The Creator of Nike

By

Vitor Cortes

May 12, 2024

Must Reads & Books I love

Everyone has that one book they passionately recommend to friends: “Man, you need to read this!” The kind of book that stays with you, resonating deeply and becoming a source of inspiration in your own journey. Back in 2018, I discovered such a book. Whenever I met a friend in search of their next great read, I'd enthusiastically suggest, “Please read this book, it’s just so good! Trust me.” For me, that book was Shoe Dog.

For those unfamiliar, Shoe Dog is a memoir by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. It details the formative days of his company and its rise to become one of the world’s most iconic, profitable, and recognizable brands. The story begins in 1962, with Knight borrowing $50 from his father to import high-quality, low-cost running shoes from Japan. At that time, a young track athlete at the University of Oregon, Knight started selling these shoes from the trunk of his car at track meets.

As the business expanded, Knight encountered numerous challenges, including financial hardships, complex negotiations with suppliers in Japan, and legal disputes with competitors. The book also delves into the pivotal relationships and partnerships Knight formed, particularly with his former track coach, Bill Bowerman, who became his co-founder and played a crucial role in designing innovative running shoes.

Shoe Dog offers an intimate glimpse into the trials and tribulations of building a business from scratch. It showcases the perseverance, insight, and teamwork required to overcome numerous obstacles.

I remember reading this and being captivated from beginning to end, likely because it’s more than just a business story—it’s a personal journey. It talks about the power of vision and passion for your work, and how perseverance and the right relationships are key to overcoming the challenges that come your way as you chase your dreams.

So, my dear friend, if you haven’t yet read this book, well…now is the time. I’m confident you won’t be disappointed. It reads like a cinematic epic, an adventure of faith and perseverance that leaves you with numerous valuable lessons in the end.




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