I’ve worked for Nike in the past and thought I knew the company’s story (Bowerman, the waffle iron, the art student who created the logo) but NO, I really knew nothing. In this book, Knight, for the first time, tells his personal story of the true beginnings of Nike from 1962 (when it was Blue Ribbon Sports) until he reluctantly took the company (then Nike) public in 1980.
This is an absolutely extraordinary book – I couldn’t put it down. Any business owner or entrepreneur who has ever struggled and sacrificed and worked harder than they ever thought possible, will identify.
What makes this book so riveting is how Knight draws us into his life. I felt the stress he was coping with in starting his business. I was elated when he beat his risk-averse bankers and the shifty customs agents at their own game. I loved his team of misfits (the buttfaces) who believed in his crazy running shoe idea and not only kept the company afloat but took it to stratospheric heights. And finally, I was in tears at the end (2007-2010 years) when he looks back at his life and realizes the journey is coming to a close and he’s not ready to admit to himself that he can’t do it all over again.
So read this book, people, it is inspiring! And big thanks to Bill Gates and his blog for recommending the book.