I recently finished reading Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, and I have to say that it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. The book mainly covers Phil Knight’s humble beginnings as a Japanese shoe importer to the endless failures/successes that ultimately resulted in Nike’s IPO. 

Without diving into the details of the book, Nike by all accounts should have died long before going public. How Knight made it survive contradicts all logic. 

Except when you look back at the labyrinth of Nike’s success, there seems to be an unwritten blueprint. 

  • Purpose
  • Vision
  • Innovation
  • Growth-mindset
  • Collaboration
  • Linchpins
  • Niches
  • Tribes 
  • Momentum

I’m singling out the last point because often times we over glorify “perseverance.” Sometimes life can hit us like a brick and we have to give up on a sunk cost. Sheer stubbornness alone doesn’t solve a business or a branding problem. 

For Nike, momentum is what kept the brand/Knight moving. Even when the factories weren’t.