Shoe Dog in 5 minutes

Gautham Dinesh
4 min readMar 11, 2023

The following summary template is a version of Ali Abdaal’s book notes template on Notion.

Nike Logo

⚡️The Book in 3 Sentences

  1. A story of how persistence and the right people can help you overcome any difficult situation.
  2. Having the courage to do something different, something you are passionate about and not being afraid to fail but doing the most you can to not fail.
  3. The evolution of Nike as a company into a brand that the whole world recognizes and is valued by the top athletes.

🃏 Impressions

To say that I loved every single paragraph in this book is not an exaggeration. Phil Knight pulls you into his world and takes you on a journey and makes it feel like you are right beside him. Perhaps it is a skill that he perfected by reading bedtime stories to his children with them as a character in every story. It was quite surprising to know some of the major decisions that created Nike as we know it today were made in haste. But with the support and belief of Nike’s founders and employees, every bad situation was overcome.

🧙‍♀️ How I Discovered it?

Saw it on a list of best books of the year a while ago.

🙇‍♀️ Who Should Read it?

Anyone thinking about starting a business, going through a difficult situation in their lives, or honestly anyone that just wants to enjoy a great book.

☕️ How the Book Changed Me

I think one of the biggest takeaways from this book is that I should give my crazy ideas a shot. No matter how insane they sound, trying and failing fast and hard is better than not trying. Even if I fail, I will learn from the experience and if I don’t I will have fewer regrets.

📝 My Top 3 Quotes

  • The cowards never started and the weak dies along the way. That leaves us.
  • Somebody may beat me, but they’re gonna have to bleed to do it.
  • Seek a calling. Even if you don’t know what that means, seek it. If you’re following your calling, the fatigue will be easier to bear, the disappointments will be fuel, the highs will be like nothing you’ve ever felt.

📔Notes + Summaries

  • The cowards never started and the weak dies along the way. That leaves us.
  • Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.
  • Confidence. More than equity, more than liquidity, that’s what a man needs.
  • These are the worst shoes we’ll ever have. So if we can sell these… we’ll be in our way.
  • Truthfulness is ultimately all I have to go on, to gauge this case.
  • Fear of failure, I thought, will never be our downfall as a company. Not that any of us thought we wouldn’t fail, in fact we had every expectation that we would. But when we did fail, we had faith that we’d do it fast, learn from it, and be better for it.
  • You are remembered for the rules you break.
  • Don’t go to sleep one night. What you want most will come to you then.
  • Somebody may beat me, but they’re gonna have to bleed to do it.
  • Maybe the cure for any burnout, I thought, is to work harder.
  • But taking a chance of people — he’s right. You could argue that’s what it’s all been about.
  • To study the self is to forget the self.
  • But that’s the nature of money. Whether you have it or not, whether you want it or not, whether you like it or not, it will try to define your days. Our task as human beings is not to let it.
  • I’d tell men and women in their mid twenties not to settle for a job or a profession or even a career. Seek a calling. Even if you don’t know what that means, seek it. If you’re following your calling, the fatigue will be easier to bear, the disappointments will be fuel, the highs will be like nothing you’ve ever felt.

Problems

  • Marlboro man taking over distribution rights — flew to Japan and secured his right to be the sole distributor
  • Onitsuka wanting to buy Blue Ribbon — started new factories under Nike in Puerto Rico
  • Onitsuka threatens to sue — sued back for breach of contract and won
  • Kicked out from bank — got backing of Nisho and paid off loans from bank
  • $25 mil owed to customs under American Selling Price law — created a low cost competitor to use as the new reference point, created TV commercial to gather support, filed anti trust suit against the conspiring competitors
  • Going public and retaining control — class A and B stocks

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