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Shoe Dog

Shoe Dog

Phil Knight

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PHIL KNIGHT

“Life is growth. You grow or you die.”

PHIL KNIGHT

148

665 reads

Chase A Calling, Not A Career

Chase A Calling, Not A Career

  • As Nike was a growing company, Knight made almost no profit, his business struggled, and faced bankruptcy many times.
  • He had an MBA from Stanford University and left a full-time career as an accountant to sell shoes.
  • He had to follow his passion – his calling. He felt it was important that the work he spent his life on needed to feel meaningful, purposeful, and creative.

153

1.55K reads

Pursue Your “Crazy Idea”

Pursue Your “Crazy Idea”

  • In the early 1960s, the athletic shoe industry was dominated by German companies Adidas and Puma.
  • Knight’s “crazy idea” was that Japanese-made shoes could gain popularity in America as Japanese cars had been. He pursued his idea, and eventually found great success.

142

1.14K reads

Success Does Not Come Easily

Success Does Not Come Easily

  • Blue Ribbon Sports (Nike), was on the verge of bankruptcy for almost two decades.
  • He faced challenges acquiring funding, landing orders on time, and difficulties with manufacturers throughout the early days and pushed through to find the accomplishment that Nike has today.

137

1.02K reads

Failure Is An Opportunity

Failure Is An Opportunity

  • He openly acknowledged that starting a business was risky, and he was willing to face that risk.
  • He felt that failure would gain him wisdom, and wisdom is an intangible asset.
  • Failure is an opportunity to learn and do better next time.
  • He said in the past that if he had failed, he would have just tried again with more wisdom.

149

817 reads

There Is Value In Quality

There Is Value In Quality

  • He started his journey with the desire to import high-quality, low-cost shoes.
  • Nike consistently focused on the quality of their shoes and were constantly innovating ways to improve them.

136

874 reads

 “Advertising” Takes Many Forms

“Advertising” Takes Many Forms

  • Traditional advertising was not favored by Knight.
  • He valued publicity and focused on signing popular athletes to become brand representatives for Nike.
  • These iconic athletes increased public awareness of Nike and the plan was a huge victory for the brand.

133

728 reads

 Learn From Your Competition

Learn From Your Competition

  • Nike and Adidas have a well-established brand rivalry.
  • Knight looked to Adidas as inspiration, but also as their main competitor.
  • He felt Adidas was arrogant and had a negative view of them, but that did not stop him from learning from them.

133

743 reads

Improve Where Improvements Can Be Made

Improve Where Improvements Can Be Made

It is no secret that Nike shoes are manufactured offshore.Though the company receives criticism for using foreign labor, he details the changes and efforts he made to improve conditions for workers in his factories.

133

722 reads

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

Phil Knight gives credit to the employees that supported Nike through its growth and recognizes them enormously for helping the company to grow and succeed.

132

747 reads

Trust Your Team

Trust Your Team

  • He observed that none of the great leaders micromanaged their teams.
  • They did not tell people how to do things, they would tell them what to do, and trust them to get it done.
  • This resulted in Knight hiring people with passion and ability and allowing them to solve problems on their own.

139

555 reads

Perseverance Pays Off

Perseverance Pays Off

  • Knight acknowledges that “never give up” is an overstated piece of advice.
  • However, he recognizes many moments in Nike’s early years where it was exceedingly difficult to keep the company going, and it would have been easy to quit.
  • Pushing through those challenges has earned him the success that Nike has today.

132

532 reads

A Massive Project Is Just Many Small Projects

A Massive Project Is Just Many Small Projects

It is easy to feel unproductive when you view a task as a huge project. When you break that project down into small goals and success markers, it becomes a lot easier to manage, and the little amount you complete each day, adds up until the job is done.

140

495 reads

Act Successful Until You Become Successful

Act Successful Until You Become Successful

  • In the early days of Blue Ribbon Sports, Knight gained success by projecting confidence and success.
  • He had to participate in many meetings and business deals with experienced and essential business people, and by acting successful, he eventually became successful.

138

536 reads

Travel To Gain Experience And Wisdom

Travel To Gain Experience And Wisdom

  • Knight goes into great detail about how his world travels expanded his knowledge and viewpoints.
  • He values the wisdom that he gained from his travel as a young man and is a proponent of young people (with the means to do so) traveling as much as they can before they settle into careers.

137

455 reads

Success Has An Element Of Luck

Success Has An Element Of Luck

  • A large focus is placed on the hard work, dedication, and perseverance that it took for Knight to grow Nike.
  • However, Knight also acknowledges that luck played a role in his success. Hard work, dedication, and perseverance play a role in providing more opportunities for luck.

134

453 reads

Understand The Importance Of Storytelling

Understand The Importance Of Storytelling

  • Knight demonstrates very well that storytelling is a powerful tool.
  • There is a history of Nike’s most effective and famous ad campaigns coming from a place of storytelling.
  • Engaging your audience will have a profound effect on your marketing and brand.

135

473 reads

Know Your Audience

Know Your Audience

  • Like all business owners, Knight understands the importance of knowing who Nike’s audience was.
  • Having this information, and fully understanding it gives you the tools you need to create products, marketing, and branding that resonate with those intended to experience it.

132

421 reads

Your Brand Needs To Inspire

Your Brand Needs To Inspire

  • Brands must have a mission that the public can agree with and get behind.
  • Nike’s current mission is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
  • This statement aligns with Knight’s understanding of the need for a deeper purpose. 

135

432 reads

Delivery Trumps Perfection

Delivery Trumps Perfection

  • Knight’s focus was always on the quality and performance of his products, however, delivering his orders on time was more important to him.
  • In the early stages of importing his shoes, there were often times they struggled to receive their orders on schedule.
  • The quality of a product is irrelevant if your customers can not trust you to deliver it on time consistently.

134

404 reads

Life Is About Growth

Life Is About Growth

  • His life revolved around the concept that growth was the most important thing in his life.
  • He risked everything, on multiple occasions, to grow Nike into the company we know today, and took extraordinary measures to pursue personal growth through his study, reading, and travels.
  • Growth and life are one and the same for Knight.

138

457 reads

CURATED BY

prince_rahul

"A good curated idea should be like a girl's skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest."

Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.

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