Liberty Inspection - October 2018

The Beginnings of Nike: ‘SHOE DOG’ CHRIS EARLEY’S BOOK OF THE MONTH

As a runner, I value the work and dedication sporting goods companies put into their products, ensuring athletes can get the most out of their bodies. When I discovered Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight’s memoir, “Shoe Dog,” I knew I had to pick it up. Knight details the little-known story of his company, starting from the $50 his dad gave him to begin Nike in 1962. The premise was to sell affordable, quality athletic shoes, and, needless to say, it caught on. In the book, the reader is taken back to Knight’s lime-green Plymouth Valiant, out of which he sold about $8,000 worth of shoes during his first year, to explain how an eclectic group of people became dedicated to the business’s affordable athletics mission. Before this book, Knight was nearly mum on his background story, but now business novices and interested athletes alike can learn how the famous swoosh became one of the most recognizable brands in the world, now averaging $30 billion annually.

This book played to both the business owner and athlete in me. While my business focuses on home strength rather than human strength, I could still relate to Knight’s drive and the struggle of building up a business. And as a runner, those same values fuel me.

From Michael Jordan to “Just Do It,” readers of all age levels, jobs, and abilities will relate to this story, while gleaning expertise from a CEO who started with just a few dollars, his car, and a mission.

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