4 valuable lessons for startups from reading “Shoe Dog”

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Nike does count itself amongst the world’s most famous brands. The iconic “swoosh” logo, coupled with innovations in shoe technology as well as a creative marketing and branding strategy keep the image of the company in high regards up to this day. “Shoe Dog” tells the story of the company’s origins, told by none other than Phil “Buck” Knight, its founder. The book starts in the 1960s when Knight decides to travel the world at the age of 24. He has, what he calls “a crazy idea” — importing Japanese running shoes into the US. Not only is Knight a running enthusiast himself, he did develop this idea as part of his MBA program in Stanford. After a successful start of business relations with the Japanese supplier Onitsuka (today part of Asics), Knight begins to sell designs by his own company. This strains the relationship to their suppliers and eventually leads to a separation. The company grows despite numerous setbacks and problems. The memoir ends with the initial public offering in 1980, then adds some thoughts from present-day Knight. It is an interesting journey, full of struggle and problems, but also full of hope and victories. Knight distributes small morsels of wisdom throughout the chapters. I’d like to show you what you can learn from him and his memoir.
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