Monday, September 5, 2016

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

I've been eyeing this book for some time now and finally purchased it last week at Kinokuniya in Bugis with my membership card that's on its last legs. 

I must say I'm quite impressed with this memoir. Unlike unwieldy ones like Richard Branson's, Nike's cofounder Phillip Knight actually took several writing classes in a bid to make this a smoother read. 

And what a read it was!

We speed through the '60s and '70s as Knight started his company, originally named "Blue Ribbon". And strangely enough, he was selling Onitsuka Tigers for quite some time. 

Half the book was dedicated to his time selling Tigers. I was very impatient for him to move on to explain how Nike became the powerhouse it is today. And when my patience was close to running out, the turning point of the book came. 

His ex-running coach, Bowerman, inspired by his wife's waffle iron, completely redesigned the sole of sport shoes. Knight took it up and started manufacturing it in a country down south, coming up with the brand name "Nike" after several arduous attempts. 

It turned out that the years he spent selling Tigers were not wasted as they had built a solid customer base in that time. 

At a shoe selling convention, sales reps picked the very first Nike shoes, flaws and all, and it became the newest sensation. 

I was rather disappointed that the penultimate chapter of the book ended at 1978 where Nike went public and the last chapter was a short summary of the next 30 plus years. 

I guess the memoir would have been four times and longe and might deter the average reader hoping to gain some business tips. 

This is a must read for every entrepreneur and it is not just insightful but very inspiring as well. 

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