When I was initially planning this website, I looked at a lot of other sites for ideas and inspiration. Several of my favourites had a reading list or even the occasional book review, but one that stood out in particular was GatesNotes, the personal but immaculately well-designed blog of Mr Bill Gates.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't impressed by the very serious list of books he's reviewed. My own list features a lot more fantasy and science-fiction, so it's unlikely I'd have ever picked up Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight. But Bill wasn't the only person to mention it. Ever since it was first published, people I followed seemed to keep talking about it, so I thought it must be special.

"I don't normally read memoirs, but I'm really glad I picked this one up."

There's something really intriguing about the memoir of a entrepreneur. The potential secrets of success written down in black and white so you can see the recipe in full. What I wasn't expecting was how relatable Phil was.

The memoir did such an incredible job of humanising him that I felt like he was a friend by the time I turned the last page. The last memoir I read was that of Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson, and despite enjoying every moment of it, putting the book down I was left feeling as though no one really knew him, least of all me.

Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication Date: April 26, 2016
  • ISBN: 978-1-4711-4672-5
  • Genre: Memoir
Book Cover

Shoe Dog is a memoir by Nike co-founder Phil Knight. The memoir chronicles the history of Nike from its early struggles to its evolution into one of the world’s most recognized and profitable companies.

Bill Gates named Shoe Dog one of his five favorite books of 2016 and called it “an amazing tale, a refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like. It’s a messy, perilous, and chaotic journey, riddled with mistakes, endless struggles, and sacrifice. Phil Knight opens up in ways few CEOs are willing to do.”

In July 2018, Netflix announced a biopic adaptation.