Shoe Dog

A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE

Ranked #1 in Exercise, Ranked #1 in Business Biographysee more rankings.

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 $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 trunk of his lime green Plymouth Valiant, Knight grossed $8,000 his first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30...

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Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of Shoe Dog from the world's leading experts.

Bill Gates CEO/MicrosoftThis memoir, by the co-founder of Nike, is a refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like: messy, precarious, and riddled with mistakes. I’ve met Knight a few times over the years. He’s super nice, but he’s also quiet and difficult to get to know. Here Knight opens up in a way few CEOs are willing to do. I don’t think Knight sets out to teach the reader anything. Instead, he accomplishes something better. He tells his story as honestly as he can. It’s an amazing tale. (Source)

Warren Buffett CEO/Berkshire HathawayThe best book I read last year. Phil is... a gifted storyteller. (Source)

Andre Agassi Founder/ College Preparatory AcademyI've known Phil Knight since I was a kid, but I didn't really know him until I opened this beautiful, startling, intimate book. And the same goes for Nike. I've worn the gear with pride, but I didn't realize the remarkable saga of innovation and survival and triumph that stood behind every swoosh. Candid, funny, suspenseful, literary - this is a memoir for people who love sport, but above all it's a memoir for people who love memoirs. (Source)

Brad Feld Co-Founder/Foundry GroupRecommends this book

Bill Gurley Recommends this book

Brian Armstrong Co-founder & CEO/CoinbaseRecommends this book

Ryan Holiday AuthorAs a general rule, most new memoirs are mediocre and most business memoirs are even worse. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight is an exception to that rule in every way and as a result, was one of my favorite books of the year and favorite business books ever. I started reading it while on the runway of a flight and figured I’d read a few pages before opening my laptop and working. Instead, my laptop stayed in my bag during the flight and I read almost the entire book in one extended sitting. Ostensibly the memoir of the founder of Nike, it’s really the story of a lost kid trying to find meaning in his... (Source)

Doug McMillon CEO/WalmartRead some wonderful and enlightening books this year. The stories from Cal Turner and Phil Knight are especially inspiring… passionate leaders and merchants! (Source)

Vlad Tenev [Vlad Tenev recommended this book in Bloomberg's "The Best Books of 2017" survey.] (Source)

Jack Wong Business related book? Has to be Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, loved the Nike story from start to end, obviously also because it's also footwear related. Another business related book that left its mark was "Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki" which gives a pretty interesting take on the fundamentals of customer - business relationships. (Source)

Tudor Mihailescu In every industry, there would be many relevant books but nothing would replace being in touch with the customers and people in own organisation. It’s a vast of space to recommend books, but I would suggest that learning how proven entrepreneurs or managers have done this as a good start (read about Jake Welch – Straight from the Gut, Steve Jobs, Shoe Dog – Phil Knight or Elon Musk) – admittedly, some of them may set a very high bar. (Source)

Irina Botnari I’m definitely a story-lover and maybe that’s why I like to read a lot of biographies. It’s fascinating to discover how people with different backgrounds, interests, businesses, careers have found solutions for various challenges from all areas of their life. Elon Musk, Andre Agassi, Phil Knight, Maria Sharapova, Arnold Schwarzenegger are only a few of good recent ones. A specific moment when I recall one of the inspiring stories is probably when I think I can’t anymore. I take a deep breath and move on. It’s only in our mind. We can always do a little more. (Source)

Radu Marcusu Now I listen to Shoe Dog since you were the second person around me that said something controversial about it and this got my attention. My partner said that is impossible for a man Knight’s age to recall so many details, which is indeed suspicious, but I try to enjoy the story and not to develop a new conspiracy theory. So far I love this book. I love that the story feels so natural, raw, humble; it came like a breath of fresh air from the (sometimes) clicheic business biographies. The book confirmed me once again that innovation is the only way to overcome your competitors, especially from... (Source)

Amanda Bradford This is a little availability bias because I just finished it, but it was "Shoe Dog" which was the story of Phil Knight starting Nike right out of business school. Obviously, I really did too because I started the League out of business school. It was just cool to read his story. It was back in the day when companies, the start up period was 30 years instead of four, like it is now. I just kind of was awed at just how driven and determined he was to keep working on it for so long. It took so long to get off the ground. [...] I don't know, it was cool. I love reading about just people who kind... (Source)

Mike Dudas Just an incredible book. (Source)

Florian Hubner It shows you how to run a fast-growing business where innovation is key (probably the most exciting business book I‘ve ever read). (Source)

Catrinel Hagivreta It’s an amazing book about passion and entrepreneurship. You will learn that it will never get easy to run your business, but you have to enjoy every moment because, as funny as it may sound, what doesn’t let you sleep at night now eventually turns out to be one of the best memories of your entrepreneurial life. (Source)

Dr. Monali Y. Desai I started listening to Shoe Dog because several friends recommended it to me. So far I’ve gotten out of it that starting Nike was much more complicated than I thought it was. (Source)

Lewis Smith Not a programming book, but inspiring if you are starting your own thing. (Source)

Yaro Starak Michael Jordan and Phil Knight, the Nike founder, two different biographies, those were great. See, Michael Jordan’s was really really quite good and doesn’t seem to get talked about as much but it’s nice and solid. (Source)

Eric Jackson I enjoy reading the book so much more than if he tweeted hashtags about “embracing the hustle” during his journey (Source)

Eric Mitchell @mjgranger1 Phil Knight the founder of Nike enlisted in the army and served one year on active duty and seven years in the Army Reserve (like you). His book is a NYT best seller multiple times over, Nike hires veterans and sponsors many veterans in sports. (Source)

Zak Keefer This book is awesome. I also can’t believe Nike was almost named “Dimension Six” instead. (Source)

Edwin Donnelly Mdphd @RogueRad Shoe Dog is self-serving but interesting because because Nike is constantly on the verge of bankruptcy and the book tells about a lot of the mistakes that were made. Isaacson's daVinci, though trendy, is a great story about hard work and attention to detail leading to greatness. (Source)

Mark Keith Muhumuza @k_ophelia This is my current-about-to-finish-read. It is a good (more than) read. Enjoy. We thank management @Nvannungi_ for representing us all and getting you the book. :) (Source)

Tren Griffin @TheStalwart I have written seven books. How much a book sells and how good the book is are only loosely correlated. The best recent book I have read on business is Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. The best collection of business books are those written by Michael Mauboussin. (Source)

Niall Harbison Finished book 28/100 for 2018. One of the best business books I’ve read. None of the standard boring jargon. Just a good story of tenacity and never accepting no or failure. Can’t recommend it enough 9.5/10 (Source)

Joe Weisenthal If you haven't read it, it's really the best book about the history of globalization, and about the inherent challenges of financing a high-growth startup. At one point, they were growing too fast to get a bank loan. The bank wanted their top line to be growing slower. (Source)

Shashi Bellamkonda This book was recommended to me by my Middle School going kid and @WarrenBuffett Inspiring Read. (Source)

Satya Patel Recommends this book

Eytan Levit Recommends this book

Trevor Ncube My brother @PTChimusoro what a book to read as you close a new year and start a new one. Just the book. It will inspire you. Guaranteed. Enjoy. #twitterbookclub (Source)

Roxana Bitoleanu [One of the books that had the biggest impact on ] Shoe Dog, because we, entrepreneurs, can identify with the story behind Nike and the mistakes that eventually led to the creation of the brand. (Source)

Mikhail Dubov It's always hard to choose a favourite book, but if I had a gun to my head, I'd probably choose Shoe Dog by Phil Knight in the business category. I like [this book] because of fantastic story-telling quality and insights relevant to what I do in business and in life more generally. (Source)

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