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Shoe Dog

A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1,479 ratings)

Non-member price: $38.80

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Publisher's Summary

In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, 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.

In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed fifty dollars 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 trunk of his lime-green Plymouth Valiant, Knight grossed $8,000 his first year. Today, Nike's annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of start-ups, Nike is the ne plus ultra of all start-ups, and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognizable symbols in the world today.

But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always remained a mystery. Now, for the first time, in a memoir that is candid, humble, gutsy, and wry, he tells his story, beginning with his crossroads moment. At 24, after backpacking around the world, he decided to take the unconventional path to start his own business - a business that would be dynamic, different.

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.

©2016 Phil Knight (P)2016 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Norbert Leo Butz...infuses his delivery with drama and suspense, keeping the listener engaged with each chapter. Knight claims to be a shy introvert, but Butz isn't fooled, portraying the chairman as a straight-shooting, no-nonsense leader who keeps winning because he's relentless in his pursuit of success...." (AudioFile)

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<br />

Very interesting book. I very much enjoyed learning the history of such an iconic brand. Fantastic narantion also!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Very interesting!

I really enjoyed Phil’s book! It does exactly that, makes you feel like a friend is telling your a story about their fantastic honest raw adventures in the world of business and beyond.
Loved the story! Love the brand! Now will understand much more the meaning behind the swoosh I wear :) Recommended ✨

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Great Audio

An inspiring book of what you can achieve when you are driven to succeed in something you are very passionate about. Took a few chapters to settle in to it but then throughly enjoyed it. I look at Nike a bit different now.

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Amazing story about very humble man

Amazing story about successful man, who archived so much, but instead of glorifying himself, he stays humble and giving so much credit to his team members... inspirational and very easy to listen ... one of my most favourite audiobooks ...

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Inspirational journey many twists and turns

What an interesting life story. I’m sure most people would have given up at the very first hurdle, but this book demonstrates how to tackle challenges and eventually come out on top. Great inspiration.

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Inspirational tale of an amazing company!

Never ever give up is the main theme of this book. So many times others would have quit or bowed to the pressures. How glad we all should be that these guys kept going!

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One of my favourites!

This is a book I return to every day, it’s insightful, clever and funny. Each time I read it, I find myself connecting with the story and characters on a deeper level. I can not recommend this book enough, no matter what field you’re in, Phil’s story about building one of the biggest brands in the world will inspire you to keep going!!

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What a life.

Great Book and highly addictive, recommend giving this one a read, Phil certainly is a highly motivated and passionate shoe dog!

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Great book

This is my favorite book i have listen to on Audible. I honestly couldn't stop listening, when listening in the car whilst driving places, i would sometimes have to keep driving around the block a few times just to hear a bit more, at times making me late for appointments. That's the kind of book it is.

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One of the best!

Amazing!!! Captivating from the start! Would recommend to anyone. One of the best on Audible.

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  • Brock
  • 02-06-2016

A must listen to book- It's the perfect biz memoir

This book was full of everything I ever hope for in a book. It was super interesting, and hard to put down. Iit was funny, and I found Knight to be a person I was cheering for throughout the book as he faced one trial after another. It was a truly inspirational story. I wish everyone I know could read this book

It was also an awesome business book. It discussed significant business challenges Nike faced throughout its journey to becoming the world leader it is today. As a business owner I was very interested to read about the number of times it seemed as though Nike may need to close down due to challenges it faced, yet each time they found a way to overcome the problem. It is an amazing story of Knights resolve to never give up. I also loved hearing about Knight's leadership style of allowing the voices of his employees to be heard, even when they ran counter to his ideas. I think this is a must read for business owners, but everyone who's heard of Nike will enjoy it too.

The only negative about this book is that it's not nearly long enough. I would love to hear there will be a sequel to this book. There are so many aspects that could be delved into more deeply, and with the way Knight wrote this book I know they would be just as riveting as everything in this book.

40 of 40 people found this review helpful

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  • Dan D
  • 07-07-2016

Just read it. (or listen, whatever)

I don't typically review books that I've read or listened to. Even the ones I love. But this one is different. I couldn't be more grateful for having come across this story. One of those perfect books at the perfect time. As I listened to the last hour I had to pull my car over and just absorb it all. And I had tears rolling down my cheek. I hate being a softy but this story hit me at a time when I needed to hear it. All entrepreneurs should take this one in. This is the inspiration I needed to keep the grit alive. Thank you Mr Knight!

45 of 46 people found this review helpful

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  • Daryl
  • 19-03-2017

Highly readable autobiography

I don't know much about Nike - aside from the fact that I owned a pair of Nike street shoes that lasted me longer than any pair of shoes I ever owned.
This book is a terrific look at the origins of Nike - the bluster, the bravado, the fear, the mistakes, everything that went in to the birth of a billion-dollar company.
Phil Knight is not always likable, but he has a way of introspection that is both charming and accessible. He acknowledges his mistakes - even big ones - with a combination of humour and regret. Sometimes the only way to proceed is forward, and that's what he's done. It's amazing that a billion-dollar brand came out of - in its beginning - the trunk of a car supplying someone else's shoes.
I also found that Phil Knight described the world events surrounding him and his little company in the early days. It provides more than a glimpse of Blue Ribbon (which became Nike), but how it had to adapt to the changing world around it.
I understand why all of the origins of the company were detailed - leaving something out wouldn't have worked - but I would have preferred more than an epilogue detailing the last 25 years of Nike. Even adding another 1-2 hours to this accessible, compulsively readable book would have been less jarring than having it jump forward from 1980 or so to 2007.
But this is a minor quibble with a riveting book with a terrific narrator.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris
  • 09-07-2016

Breathtaking

The best book I have ever read. Thank you Phil Knight for taking the time to inspire, comfort, or warn us all out here. Thank you.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Davine
  • 09-07-2016

A Must Read For All Entrepreneurs!

Shoe Dog is highly transformational and inspiring. It will move you and keep you engaged the whole time. Usually I'd pace a book throughout a week or so, however I couldn't resist the urge to binge chapter to chapter. I can truly say this book has changed my life for he better!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Ignacio J Fanlo
  • 06-07-2016

Fantastic listen

Couldn't wait to hear the next chapter. Engrossing and inspiring. I recommend everyone that likes audio books and Entrepreneurship list be to it.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 17-07-2016

Just do it

This book is the story of the man who built the Nike shoe Empire. It had never occurred to me that I was a Nike customer, but during the course of the listen I realised that I own 3 pairs of Nikes (a pair of golf shoes and 2 pairs of ‘trainers’), so they’re obviously sufficiently globally ubiquitous to have had an impact on my life. When I started at University, in 1980, I remember my new friend Jez Brown showing me his pair of Nikes as if they were something special. At the time they seemed a bit odd and I wasn’t sure if they would catch on or just be a flash-in-the-pan. That was my first exposure to the brand.

The story of Nike starts in 1962, the year I was born, when an ambitious young man, passionate about running, has the wild idea of going to Japan to import running shoes, pretending that he already owns an established shoe business in the US. He throws his heart and soul into building this business, recruiting a posse of similarly devoted eccentric characters along the way. He’s always up against adversity, always on the brink of bankruptcy – but somehow he survives and scrapes through to the next phase, even though selling the shoes is never a problem. The problems are always supply and cash flow.

The book ends in 1980, when Phil and his band of odd-bods finally yield to the pressure to allow Nike to go public. This is something they had resisted because they liked the home-spun ethos of the company. Once the company went public it signalled an end to the author’s financial worries (he instantly became a very rich man), an end to the company’s constant battles against adversity, and an end to the story (apart from an epilogue).

This is a great listen. Completely compelling and entertaining from the first to the last word. Recommended.

28 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • Amin
  • 29-05-2016

Epic book - absolutely loved it!!

As an entrepreneur, I identified with this book like no other that I've read - the well written narrative makes reading this book like living the experience moment to moment - wow.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Andy
  • 30-05-2016

great story about building a business

This was a super close up view of how Phil Knight and his gang built Nike. What I found most interesting was Knight's play-by-play on some of the key moments...what he was thinking and why he chose the path he took.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Vonarmen
  • 03-07-2016

Great writing

Well written and highly engaging. A modern classic business adventure - with heart. Nike's rise from class project to IPO.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • AJ the Tramp
  • 07-02-2018

Wow. 10/10. A must for entrepreneurs...

What an amazing book. I had no idea about Nike until I read this. What a book. Buck Knight's grit and determination. What a guy. Complete new view of Nike and great read for entrepreneurs who are stuck in the daily drudge of making it work. Genuinely gutted this book is over. Well written. Laughed, smiled and genuinely cried... Fantastic. 10/10.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-09-2019

Utterly Excellent

The best Audiobook I have ever listened to. cannot wait to listen again. An absolute must listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • phil chadwick
  • 08-07-2017

Fantastic story - beautifully written

Phil Knight has a real gift for writing, wonderfully written for someone who is not a professional writer. The story of Nike is inspiring - the guts and bravery shown by all involved is astounding.

This book definitely made me laugh and nearly made me cry. Both Phil Knight and this story are truely authentic, a refreshing change from the modern era of entrepreneurs whose anecdotes and perspectives are tainted by vanity and insecurity.

Bravo

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-09-2017

Fantastic! A great read

Never really knew about the history and origins of how the Nike brand started - what a story!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-11-2019

The best book I have ever read....Outstanding

I do not know how many books i have read or listened to in my life and this is the 1st review I have ever written but this is an absolutely outstanding story.
I have nothing but admiration and respect for Phil Knight and his ability to push on and show resilience to follow his dream and make it happen.

The story is something else and Phil Knights ability to remain grounded is aw inspiring. I could go on but I wont. Get the book - hear the story and judge for yourself you wont regret it.

It is truly outstanding.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-11-2019

hard to turn it off

if you ever read a sports / buisiness book read this one its so good i read it twice

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  • Amazon customer
  • 18-11-2019

What an experience.

An amazing story which took me through so many emotions. Very inspiring and motivating story

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-11-2019

Truly Great

Not one bad word to fault about this audible everything was what I expected perfect

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-11-2019

Illuminating and entertaining

Extremely well written and brilliantly read
The book has tempo , offers insights and an understanding about one of the world’s great companies
This was my first audio book and it really helped on my daily commute

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  • Kevin L-Zimmerman
  • 04-11-2019

Feels like a truly open and honest reflection of a remarkable life

Fascinating, open recount of a remarkable man. Driven with a passion that’s truly inspiring.

A entrepreneur with drive. To those that know him closely it would be interesting to know how true this is but as an outsider I found this one of the best autobiography books out there