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The story of Nike in its founder's words

Last updated on: April 21, 2016 18:02 IST

Nike

The inside story of Nike, which began as an intrepid start-up evolving into one of the world's most iconic brands is narrated for the first time by the multinational company's co-founder and chief executive officer Phil Knight, in a memoir scheduled to hit the stands on April 26.

Titled Shoe Dog the book, publisher Simon & Schuster says, focuses on the company's early years.

In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission -- import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the boot of his Plymouth, Knight grossed $8000 in his first year.

Today, Nike's annual sales top $30 billion and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognisable symbols but Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always remained a mystery.

"Candid, humble, wry and gutsy, he begins with his crossroads moment when at 24 he decided to start his own business," says the publisher.

Knight details the many risks and daunting setbacks that stood between him and his dream -- along with his early triumphs.

Above all, he recalls how his first band of partners and employees soon became a tight-knit band of brothers.

Together, harnessing the transcendent power of a shared mission, and a deep belief in the spirit of sport, they built a brand that changed everything.

"So that morning in 1962 I told myself: Let everyone else call your idea crazy. . . just keep going. Don't stop.

“Don't even think about stopping until you get there, and don't give much thought to where 'there' is. Whatever comes, just don't stop," Knight writes.

Physician-author Abraham Verghese describes the book as "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."

"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," he said in a statement by the publishers.

Image: The logo of Nike is seen in a storefront in Sao Paulo May 28, 2015. Photograph: Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

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