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Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike Hardcover – 26 Apr 2016

4.8 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Description for Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

Review

“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. Here Knight opens up in a way few CEOs are willing to do. I don’t think Knight sets out to teach the reader anything. Instead, he accomplishes something better. He tells his story as honestly as he can. It’s an amazing tale.”—Bill Gates, one of his favorite books of 2016

“‘The best book I read last year. Phil is . . . a gifted storyteller.”--Warren Buffett

Shoe Dog is a great American story about luck, grit, know-how, and the magic alchemy of a handful of eccentric characters who came together to build Nike. That it happened at all is a miracle, because as I learned from this book, though we are a nation that extols free enterprise, we also excel at thwarting it. This is Phil Knight, one on one, no holds barred. The lessons he imparts about entrepreneurship and the obstacles one faces in trying to create something, are priceless. The pages I folded down are too many to mention.”—Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

"I’ve known Phil Knight since I was a kid, but I didn’t really know him until I opened this beautiful, startling, intimate book. And the same goes for Nike. I’ve worn the gear, with pride, but I didn’t realize the remarkable saga of innovation and survival and triumph that stood behind every swoosh. Candid, funny, suspenseful, literary—this is a memoir for people who love sport, but above all it’s a memoir for people who love memoirs."—Andre Agassi, New York Times bestselling author of Open

"Shoe Dog is an extraordinary hero's journey, an epic tale of faith, unparalleled determination, excellence, failure, triumph, hard-earned wisdom, and love. It's nothing short of a miracle that Nike exists. I finished the last sentence in complete awe, inspired and grateful for the experience."--Lisa Genova, New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice and Inside the O'Briens

"A touching, highly entertaining adventure odyssey, with much to teach about innovation and creativity. Phil Knight takes us back to the Big Bang of the swoosh, recalls how he first begged and borrowed from reluctant banks, how he assembled a crew of eccentric but brilliant misfits, how they all worked together to build something unique and paradigm-changing. An inspiration for everyone with an unconventional dream."—Michael Spence, Nobel-prize winning economist

"A fresh historical prospective on one of the most profiled companies in the world...[Shoe Dog] builds characters of the people behind the brand, many of whom we've never heard of."--ESPN.com

"Loaded with hard-earned wisdom...Want a simple recommendation? Go get a copy."--Portland Business Journal 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

“A rare and revealing look at the notoriously media-shy man behind the swoosh.”--Booklist STARRED review

"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

“Ranks among the best business books and autobiographies I’ve ever read.”–-Jim Cramer, CNBC-TV

"A blueprint not just for success, but for motivation.Shoe Dog illustrates the unlimited amount of hurdles one might run into while trying to reach a major goal. It's Knight's account of seeing a vision through against all odds."--Mic.com

"An extraordinary memoir... one of the best stories of entrepreneurship I have ever read."--Fareed Zakaria

“The ultimate entrepreneur’s guide to the top of the mountain. I could not put it down.”--Bill Walton, Wall Street Journal

“A fascinating warts-and-all account of the company’s early years, a rascally tale of scrappiness and survival, a great read . . . Knight provides plenty of entertaining reading and laugh-out-loud moments.”--Motley Fool

About the Author

One of the world’s most influential business executives, Phil Knight is the founder of Nike, Inc. He served as CEO of the company from 1964 to 2004, as board chairman through 2016, and he is currently Chairman Emertius. He lives in Oregon with his wife, Penny.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (26 April 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1501135910
  • ISBN-13: 978-1501135910
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #62,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well and simply written, historically-accurate biographies are my best genres . This book should be a catechism for anyone who has a dream. Mr. Knight brilliantly shares his story of being the cofounder of Nike, through his exploits you will laugh out loud and cry as well. It is a good source for how to start a business and what not to do as well what to do for entrepreneurs . But what I was most touched by was his real understanding of the human spirit.

Highly recommended for college goers
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By Mak on 17 August 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fantastic memoir from the founder of Nike. First the good points:
1 It is a very detailed and engrossing account of Knight's journey. It reads more like a novel or a screenplay, as it contains anecdotal accounts of the key meetings/interactions that shaped Nike's founding. It keeps you hooked n you are excited to know what's next.
2 Knight tells it all, including personal negative traits, as it is. Most would keep the doubtful, negative parts out.
3 Not at all preachy as some management bios tend to become

Now a few disappointments:
1 The books stops at 1980 or when Nike went public. This is a big let down esp since you are in 2016! That is too long a time to keep the reader away. So you don't get any view as to how Nike finally took over its arch enemy Adidas. No insights into the athletes that Nike is associated with. If one has to go by the period written in this book the next 35 have been even more eventful. Hopefully Knight will soon bring out another volume.
2 While Knight paints the key milestones vividly, the book does not contain any pictures! This is almost unforgivable. The reader is robbed of the opportunity to relate more closely to the characters and enjoy the ride that much more. Not sure about the reason but may be it's the strong headed Knight who did not want to part with his privacy. But a very serious error on part of the publishers!

Of course its worth the read!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I came across the book accidently.....it was selling in the Kindle Store at a discounted price and I just picked it up. Once I started reading, I did not feel like to putting it down.

The book is very well written and is very easy to read. It starts in 1962, after Mr. Knight passed out of college from Stanford business School. The book starts with a description of his bag packing trip across Asia and Europe including a visit to Greece. The book is a very matter of fact story of how he started out by distributing Japanese goods in US, relying on bank financing to grow the business, partnering with an ace athletic coach who helps design new shoes, hiring people, stumbling on a new brand name, getting celebrity sportsmen to use his shoes, etc. In the book, Mr. Knight also describes a heartbreak and how he could not take his eyes off a student of his and who continues to be his wife to this day.

There is no lofty talk of greatness inherited from parents or of a desire to change the world or to improve the physical fitness and stamina of all Americans, etc. There is very little emotion, but a lot of description of the challenges and how they fight back, whether it is with the bank or the litigation with their principals in Japan or the quality of shoes when they start their own brand or developing vendors in Asia, etc.

What stood out for me was the courage of Mr. Knight in starting the business and of just going on doing the right things to grow the business and the brand. An apt description of his journey through the 70s and 80s can be summed up as "Just Do It".
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Phil Knight unravels the makings of one of the world's most innovative companies. This book reads like a brilliant novel, all thanks to the author's mastery over language.
Something that remains with me as I close the book:
"I thought of that phrase, “It’s just business.” It’s never just business. It never will be. If it ever does become just business, that will mean that business is very bad."
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By Ankur on 9 February 2017
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Full of engaging, moving and often funny stories, this memoir has been written like a pacy work of fiction. Extremely positive, it highlights how passion can help energies coalesce into a living dream. Subliminaly, it is also a crash course on leadership. Easily one of the best biographies. The beauty of the book lies in the humility of the author... in his ability to let things happen than trying to make them happen. Read it for the dream team. You will feel as if you are with Avengers. 4.5 out of 5.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story of the men who made Nike the extraordinary sport goods company in the world.
The men, including the author is described with candidness warts and all.
No effort is made to hide the weaknesses or the mistakes.
A bunch of ordinary men driven by ambition and passion in spite of their individual flaws made a great corporation.
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I've just started reading biographies, cause I'm in the 11th grade and have no clue what to do in the future. This book is so inspiring, I mean I thought the default would be to become an engineer, safe bet. But after reading this, I want to try something different, something I'd love to do, something I'd have passion about. This is truly a good read. I'd recommend it to anyone. I've always loved Nike, but now I love them even more😜✌
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