Why did I pick this book?
The tagline of ‘Just Do It’ and the logo has become the de-facto symbol for most fruitful and budding athletes. Nike is a brand that inspires the young and old alike. When the creator of the brand and comes share the story of what went behind creating the brand, I thought I will take a look at it.
What do I like about the book?
It is not easy to create a memoir. In retrospect, everything will look like magic. However, the author has taken necessary pains to highlight the pain behind the magic. In 370+ pages, more than 250 pages are dedicated to the struggle behind creating the Iconic Brand. Lesser mortals would have given up.
What is one interesting idea that I learned?
Frankly, this book reinforces one issue that I am struggling with. I am of the view, any endeavor of long-term sustainable impact has to have extended periods of imbalance and obsessive focus. Nike and the team that builds Nike had that kind of obsession for decades. I am not sure that it is the right thing, but it adds weight to the bias that I already have.
How long would it take?
4 – 5 hours.
Paras or Quotes that I liked
Intellectually, I always knew that numbers were beautiful. On some level I understood that numbers represented a secret code, that behind every row of numbers lay ethereal platonic forms. My accounting classes had taught me that, sort of. As had sports. Running track gives you a fierce respect for numbers, because you are what your numbers say you are, nothing more, nothing less. If I posted a bad time in a race, there might have been reasons-injury, fatigue, broken heart- but no one cared. My numbers, in the end, were all that anyone would remember.
My management style wouldn’t have worked for people who want to be guided, every step, but this group found it liberating, empowering. I let them be, let them do, let them make their own mistakes, because that’s how I’d always like people to treat me.
Fear of failure, I thought, will be never our downfall as a company. Not that any of us thought we wouldn’t fail; in fact we had every expectation we would. But when we did fail, we had faith that we’d do it fast, learn from it and be better for it.
When you make something, when you improve something, when you deliver something, when you add some new thing or service to the lives of strangers, making them happier, or healthier, or safer, or better, and when you do it crisply and efficiently, smartly, the way everything should be done but so seldom is – you’re participating more fully in the whole grand human drama. More than simply alive, you’re helping others to live more fully and if that’s business, all right, call me a businessman.
Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)