Shoe Dog - by Phil Knight

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as thought I would. Phil’s story is amazing, no doubt, but it read like one long testament to his privilege to me- he borrowed money from his rich relatives, partnered with his genius running coach, and talked to his family friend who was a CEO for advice. To his credit, he does openly acknowledge the role of luck in his success. Perhaps I would have liked it more if I was into the product (sneakers).

Raw Notes

Best advice: let others think you’re crazy; keep working and never give up.

McArthur: you are remembered for the rules you break.

All his success was based on who he knew.

The world was so small- could just fly to Japan and import goods.

Didn’t give up any equity in his company, even to Johnson, who made his company survive.

Lack of Integrity: Lied to the Japanese. Wanted Bowerman to push running shoes in his book. Spies on a supplier. Steals a folder from his Japanese supplier.

He was lost in thoughts with his wife. Absent-minded, misplaced things, couldn’t multitask. Crashed his car all the time. Not housebroken.

*** Hostile takeover. All of the hardest messages, delivered softly.

Such is the nature of money: whether you want it or not, it tries to define you. Your job is to never let it.

Students today are very smart, but very pessimistic. Trade is key to everyone’s success. There is so much opportunity today.

America is becoming less entrepreneurial.

Main regret is not being able to spend more time with family. And then, regret is not being able to do it again. Loved the ride.

Know when to quit. Quitting isn’t the same as stopping.

Luck plays a huge role. Hard work is critical, but luck decides the outcome. Have faith in yourself, but faith in faith, however you define it.