07/05/2019

The Crazy Idea. Just Do it.

The ‘Crazy Idea’. The central theme of what might initially seem like an odd choice of Easter Holiday reading on my part...

Shoe Dog

It was the memoirs of this man, Phil Knight - apparently now at the age of 87 - the 24th richest person on the planet…

Phil Knight

It’s story of the origins of Nike, which Knight - a business graduate and college athlete - set up straight out of university back in 1962 as ‘Blue Ribbon’ sports, initially with the ‘Crazy Idea’ of importing Japanese running shoes for an American market monopolised by the then European giants of Adidas and Puma  - subsequently modifying them to develop models of his own.

Phil Knight college days

Not so strange a choice in reflection, though. Regular blog readers will know that I’m a sports - and especially athletics - history anorak! My first involvement with the sport coincided with the emergence with Nike as a global brand 40 plus years ago. You can’t see because of all the mud, but I’m honestly wearing a pair of their then revolutionary spikes in this ancient cross country photo from c.1980...

Derek Peaple running

I was particularly amused by the story about some of the names of the first shoes he imported, and the especially the somewhat unfortunately banded discuss model, the Throw Up!

It was also fascinating to learn that it was an early visit to the Temple of Athena on the Acropolis of Athens that Knight first saw a frieze of Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory, adjusting her sander; a brand is born...

Nike

And that a college friend designer,Carolyn Davidson earned a mere $35 for conceiving the original ‘Swoosh logo’!

However, in terms of wider, assembly themes - which students know regularly follow my holiday leisure reading - it’s having, and having the courage to stick to a big, audacious ‘Crazy Idea’ that stands out. Follow your convictions.

Knight who hails from Oregon, a proudly pioneer West Coast State, links his Crazy Idea to the locals’ favourite saying...

Oregon

The cowards never started and the weak died along the way...

The Crazy Idea. I suppose it means just do it.

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