Review Blog

Mar 07 2018

Shoe dog by Phil Knight

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Young reader edition. Simon and Schuster, 2018. ISBN 9781471170119
A memoir of the origins of Nike by its founder Phil Knight (an MBA graduate and Accountant), it is written in a highly engaging manner. I was expecting a 'dry' account of the creation of a successful business but this is a warm, at times humorous, account of his life, loves, friends, hopes, travels, setbacks as well as successes.
At a time in the early sixties when running was not popular and running/sports shoes were not generally worn outside track events, Knight's consuming interest in competitive running and his admiration for his coach spark the idea for a running shoe.
The memoir details Knight's life from travelling the world post university and importantly to Japan for a meeting with a Japanese sport shoe manufacturer to gain the right to exclusively sell its Tiger sports shoe in the USA. Providing constant feedback and suggestions to improve the shoe led to its popularity with runners. Forming a partnership with his coach and taking risks and working longing hours initially from his bedroom at home, eventually lead to success.
The memoir would be good case study for Business Studies students as it covers the cultural differences impacting business dealings as well as the financial risks and workload associated with implementing an idea into a successful product.
The Epilogue is a final letter to the reader of this Young Reader edition. One does not need to be a 'shoe dog' (person passionately devoted to shoes) to enjoy the book.
Ann Griffin

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