Book Review: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Published – April 26th 2016

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I don’t think there will be anyone who will read this book and not know Nike as a brand. This book is a journey behind the man who created the brand. I feel like whatever I say will not be enough to depict the emotions I felt while reading/listening to this book. This is easily one of my favorite books of all time.

I usually read WW2 stories a lot. All of them very deep and emotional and I end up with a book hangover but this is the book where I teared up. It was such a well written masterpiece that you feel like you are a part of Buck’s (Phil Knight) journey.

The book was very well written, just read the introduction chapter “Dawn” and I am sure you will be hooked. I loved the way the chapters are structured. The title of the chapters are years years of Phil’s life (starting with 1962) with an emphasis on his learning more than stating the facts.

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Phil Knight was not extraordinary or he didn’t believe that he was born to succeed. His success can be attributed to his crazy passion and his willingness to take risks. He didn’t have the perfect plan laid out in fact he had no plans at all. What Phil did was he took a risk and started a company initially called “Blue Ribbon” and nourished it like his baby (he refers to Nike as his third son, multiple times in the book). I believe that the other contributor to the success of this journey were the key people who were part of this journey from the beginning. I don’t think it would be fair to discount their contribution as without them I don’t think the company would be where it is today. One man can’t do it all and Phil understood that in the beginning of his journey itself. The excerpt of the book quoted below summarizes the relationship of the co-founders,


Knight details the many risks and daunting setbacks that stood between him and his dream—along with his early triumphs. Above all, he recalls the formative relationships with his first partners and employees, a ragtag group of misfits and seekers who 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.

The memoir was a reminder of why you should take risks and that it is okay to fail. If you don’t like your current job, if you are thinking of a career change, if you want to start something on your own or if you simply want to be inspired then I highly recommend this book. I convinced my husband to read this book, he started it a day back and is half way through it, he loves it too.

Rating – ♥♥♥♥♥ / 5

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