Shoe Dog: Young Readers Edition

豞  ෉ Shoe Dog: Young Readers Edition online ҆ PDF Author Phil Knight ऑ 豞 ෉ Shoe Dog: Young Readers Edition online ҆ PDF Author Phil Knight ऑ Shoe Dog 1962 When I broached the subject with my father, when I worked up the nerve to speak to him about my Crazy Idea, I made sure it was in the early evening That was always the best time with Dad He was relaxed then, well fed, stretched out in his vinyl recliner in the TV nook I can still tilt back my head and close my eyes and hear the sound of the audience laughing, the tinny theme songs of his favorite shows, Wagon Train and Rawhide His all time favorite was The Red Buttons Show from the 1950s Every episode began with Red singing Ho ho, hee hee strange things are happening I set a straight backed chair beside him and gave a wan smile and waited for the next commercial Id rehearsed my spiel, in my head, over and over, especially the opening Sooo, Dad, you remember that Crazy Idea I had at Stanford It was one of my final classes, a seminar on entrepreneurship Id written a research paper about shoes, and the paper had evolved from a run of the mill assignment to an all out obsession Being a runner, I knew something about running shoes Being a business buff, I knew that Japanese cameras had made deep cuts into the camera market, which had once been dominated by Germans Thus, I argued in my paper that Japanese running shoes might do the same thing The idea interested me, then inspired me, then captivated me It seemed so obvious, so simple, so potentially huge Id spent weeks and weeks on that paper Id moved into the library, devoured everything I could find about importing and exporting, about starting a company Finally, as required, Id given a formal presentation of the paper to my classmates, who reacted with formal boredom Not one asked a single question They greeted my passion and intensity with labored sighs and vacant stares The professor thought my Crazy Idea had merit He gave me an A But that was that At least, that was supposed to be that Id never really stopped thinking about that paper Through the rest of my time at Stanford, through every morning run and right up to that moment in the TV nook, Id pondered going to Japan, finding a shoe company, pitching them my Crazy Idea, in the hopes that theyd have a enthusiastic reaction than my classmates, that theyd want to partner with a shy, pale, rail thin kid from sleepy Oregon Id also toyed with the notion of making an exotic detour on my way to and from Japan How can I leave my mark on the world, I thought, unless I get out there first and see it Before running a big race, you always want to walk the track A backpacking trip around the globe might be just the thing I wanted to visit the planets most beautiful and wondrous places And its most sacred Of course I wanted to taste other foods, hear other languages, dive into other cultures, but what I really craved was connection with a capital C I wanted to experience what the Chinese call Tao, the Greeks call Logos, the Hindus call Jna, the Buddhists call Dharma What the Christians call Spirit Before setting out on my own personal life voyage, I thought, let me first understand the greater voyage of humankind Let me explore the grandest temples and churches and shrines, the holiest rivers and mountaintops Let me feel the presence of God Yes, I told myself, yes For want of a better word, God But first, Id need my fathers approval More, Id need his cash Id already mentioned making a big trip, the previous year, and my father seemed open to it But surely hed forgotten And surely I was pushing it, adding to the original proposal this Crazy Idea, this outrageous side tripto Japan To launch a company Talk about boondoggles Surely hed see this as a bridge too far And a bridge too darned expensive I had some savings from the Army and from various part time jobs over the last several summers On top of which, I planned to sell my car, a cherry black 1960 MG with racing tires and a twin cam All of which amounted to fifteen hundred dollars, leaving me a grand short, I now told my father He nodded, uh huh, mmhmm, and flicked his eyes from the TV to me and back again, while I laid it all out Remember how we talked, Dad How I said I want to see the world The Himalayas The Pyramids The Dead Sea, Dad The Dead Sea Well, ha ha, Im also thinking of stopping off in Japan, Dad Remember my Crazy Idea Japanese running shoes Right It could be huge, Dad Huge I was laying it on thick, putting on the hard sell, extra hard, because I always hated selling and because this particular sell had zero chance My father had just forked out hundreds of dollars to the University of Oregon, thousands to Stanford He was the publisher of the Oregon Journal, a solid job that paid for all the basic comforts, including our spacious white house on Claybourne Street, in Portlands quietest suburb, Eastland But the man wasnt made of money Also, this was 1962 The earth was bigger then Though humans were beginning to orbit the planet in capsules, 90 percent of Americans still had never been on an airplane The average man or woman had never ventured farther than one hundred miles from his or her own front door, so the mere mention of global travel by airplane would unnerve any father, and especially mine, whose predecessor at the paper had died in an air crash Setting aside money, setting aside safety concerns, the whole thing was just so impractical I was aware that twenty six of twenty seven new companies failed, and my father was aware, too, and the idea of taking on such a colossal risk went against everything he stood for In many ways my father was a conventional Episcopalian, a believer in Jesus Christ But he also worshipped another secret deityrespectability He liked being admired He liked doing a vigorous backstroke each day in the mainstream Going around the world on a lark, therefore, would simply make no sense to him It wasnt done Certainly not by the respectable sons of respectable men It was something other peoples kids did For these and a dozen other reasons I expected my father to greet my pitch in the TV nook with a furrowed brow and a quick put down Ha ha, Crazy Idea Fat chance, Buck My given name was Philip, but my father always called me Buck In fact, hed been calling me Buck since before I was born My mother told me hed been in the habit of patting her stomach and asking, Hows little Buck today As I stopped talking, however, as I stopped pitching, my father rocked forward in his vinyl recliner and shot me a funny look He said that he always regretted not traveling when he was young He said a trip might be just the finishing touch to my education He said a lot of things, all of them focused on the trip than the Crazy Idea, but I wasnt about to correct him I wasnt about to complain, because in sum he was giving his blessing And his cash Okay, he said Okay, Buck Okay I thanked my father and fled the nook before he had a chance to change his mind Only later did I realize with a spasm of guilt that my fathers lack of travel was an ulterior reason, perhaps the main reason, that I wanted to go This trip, this Crazy Idea, would be one sure way of becoming someone other than him Someone less respectable Or maybe not less respectable Maybe just less obsessed with respectability The rest of the family wasnt quite so supportive When my grandmother got wind of my itinerary, one item in particular appalled her Japan she cried Why, Buck, what about Pearl Harbor I loved my mothers mother, whom we all called Mom Hatfield And I understood her fear Japan was about as far as you could get from Roseburg, Oregon, the farm town where she was born and where shed lived all her life Id spent many summers down there with her and Pop Hatfield Almost every night wed sit out on the porch, listening to the croaking bullfrogs compete with the console radio My twin sisters, Jeanne and Joanne, four years younger than me, didnt seem to care one way or another where I went or what I did And my mother, as I recall, said nothing She rarely did But there was something different about her silence this time It equaled consent Even pride I spent weeks reading, planning, preparing for my trip I went for long runs, musing on every detail while racing the wild geese as they flew overhead Their tight V formationsId read somewhere that the geese in the rear of the formation, cruising in the backdraft, only have to work 80 percent as hard as the leaders Every runner understands this Front runners always work the hardest, and risk the most Long before approaching my father, Id decided it would be good to have a companion on my trip, and that companion should be my Stanford classmate Carter Though hed been a hoops star at William Jewell College, Carter wasnt your typical jock He wore thick glasses and read books Good books He was easy to talk to, and easy not to talk toequally important qualities in a friend Essential in a travel companion But Carter laughed in my face When I laid out the list of places I wanted to seeHawaii, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Rangoon, Calcutta, Bombay, Saigon, Kathmandu, Cairo, Istanbul, Athens, Jordan, Jerusalem, Nairobi, Rome, Paris, Vienna, West Berlin, East Berlin, Munich, Londonhe rocked back on his heels and guffawed Mortified, I looked down and began to make apologies Then Carter, still laughing, said What a swell idea, Buck I looked up He wasnt laughing at me He was laughing with joy, with glee He was impressed It took nerve to put together an itinerary like that, he said Courage He wanted in Days later he got the okay from his parents, plus a loan from his father Carter never did mess around See an open shot, take itthat was Carter I told myself there was much I could learn from a guy like that as we circled the earth We each packed one suitcase and one backpack Only the bare necessities, we promised each other A few pairs of jeans, a few T shirts Running shoes, desert boots, sunglasses, plus one pair of suntansthe 1960s word for khakis I also packed one good suit A green Brooks Brothers two button Just in case my Crazy Idea came to fruition September 7, 1962 Carter and I piled into his battered old Chevy and drove at warp speed down I 5, through the Willamette Valley, out the wooded bottom of Oregon, which felt like plunging through the roots of a tree We sped into the piney tip of California, up and over tall green mountain passes, then down, down, until long after midnight we swept into fog cloaked San Francisco For several days we stayed with some friends, sleeping on their floor, and then we swung by Stanford and fetched a few of Carters things out of storage Finally we bought two discounted tickets on Standard Airlines to Honolulu One way, eighty bucks It felt like only minutes later that Carter and I were stepping onto the sandy tarmac of Oahus airport We wheeled and looked at the sky and thought That is not the sky back home We took a cab to Waikiki Beach and checked into a motel directly across the street from the sea In one motion we dropped our bags and pulled on our swim trunks Race you to the water As my feet hit the sand I whooped and laughed and kicked off my sneakers, then sprinted directly into the waves I didnt stop until I was up to my neck in the foam I dove to the bottom, all the way to the bottom, and then came up gasping, laughing, and rolled onto my back At last I stumbled onto the shore and plopped onto the sand, smiling at the birds and the clouds I must have looked like an escaped mental patient Carter, sitting beside me now, wore the same daffy expression We should stay here, I said Why be in a hurry to leave What about The Plan Carter said Going around the world Plans change Carter grinned Swell idea, Buck So we got jobs Selling encyclopedias door to door Not glamorous, to be sure, but heck We didnt start work until 7 00 p.m., which gave us plenty of time for surfing Suddenly nothing was important than learning to surf After only a few tries I was able to stay upright on a board, and after a few weeks I was good Really good Gainfully employed, we ditched our motel room and signed a lease on an apartment, a furnished studio with two beds, one real, one fakea sort of ironing board that folded out from the wall Carter, being longer and heavier, got the real bed, and I got the ironing board I didnt care After a day of surfing and selling encyclopedias, I could have slept in a luau fire pit The rent was one hundred bucks a month, which we split down the middle Life was sweet Life was heaven Except for one small thing I couldnt sell encyclopedias I couldnt sell encyclopedias to save my life The older I got, it seemed, the shier I got, and the sight of my extreme discomfort often made strangers uncomfortable Thus, selling anything would have been challenging, but selling encyclopedias, which were about as popular in Hawaii as mosquitoes and mainlanders, was an ordeal No matter how deftly or forcefully I managed to deliver the key phrases drilled into us during our brief training session Boys, tell the folks you aint selling encyclopediasyoure selling a Vast Compendium of Human Knowledge the Answers to Lifes Questions , I always got the same response Beat it, kid If my shyness made me bad at selling encyclopedias, my nature made me despise it I wasnt built for heavy doses of rejection Id known this about myself since high school, freshman year, when I got cut from the baseball team A small setback, in the grand scheme, but it knocked me sideways It was my first real awareness that not everyone in this world will like us, or accept us, that were often cast aside at the very moment we most need to be included I will never forget that day Dragging my bat along the sidewalk, I staggered home and holed up in my room, where I grieved, and moped, for about two weeks, until my mother appeared on the edge of my bed and said, Enough She urged me to try something else Like what I groaned into my pillow How about track she said Track I said You can run fast, Buck I can I said, sitting up So I went out for track And I found that I could run And no one could take that away Now I gave up selling encyclopedias, and all the old familiar rejection that went with it, and I turned to the want ads In no time I spotted a small ad inside a thick black border in the newspaper WANTED SECURITIES SALESMEN I certainly figured to have better luck selling securities After all, I had an MBA And before leaving home Id had a pretty successful interview with Dean Witter I did some research and found that this job had two things going for it First, it was with Investors Overseas Services, which was headed by Bernard Cornfeld, one of the most famous businessmen of the 1960s Second, it was located on the top floor of a beautiful beachside tower Twenty foot windows overlooking that turquoise sea Both of these things appealed to me and made me press hard in the interview Somehow, after weeks of being unable to talk anyone into buying an encyclopedia, I talked Team Cornfeld into taking a flier on me Cornfelds extraordinary success, plus that breathtaking view, made it possible most days to forget that the firm was nothing than a boiler room Cornfeld was notorious for asking his employees if they sincerely wanted to be rich, and every day a dozen wolfish young men demonstrated that they did, they sincerely did With ferocity, with abandon, they crashed the phones, cold calling prospects, scrambling desperately to arrange face to face meetings I wasnt a smooth talker I wasnt any kind of talker Still, I knew numbers, and I knew the product Dreyfus Funds More, I knew how to speak the truth People seemed to like that I was quickly able to schedule a few meetings and to close a few sales Inside a week Id earned enough in commissions to pay my half of the rent for the next six months, with plenty left over for surfboard wax My sense of carpe diem was heightened by the fact that the world was coming to an end A nuclear standoff with the Soviets had been building for weeks The Soviets had three dozen missiles in Cuba, the United States wanted them out, and both sides had made their final offer Negotiations were over and World War III was set to begin any minute According to the newspapers, missiles would fall from the sky later today Tomorrow at the latest The world was Pompeii, and the volcano was already spitting ash Ah well, everyone agreed, when humanity ends, this will be as good a place as any to watch the rising mushroom clouds Aloha, civilization And then, surprise, the world was spared The crisis passed The sky seemed to sigh with relief as the air turned suddenly crisper, calmer A perfect Hawaiian autumn followed Days of contentment and something close to bliss Followed by a sharp restlessness One night I turned to Carter I think maybe the time has come to leave Shangri La, I said I didnt make a hard pitch I didnt think I had to It was clearly time to get back to The Plan But Carter frowned and stroked his chin Gee, Buck, I dont know Hed met a girl He wanted to stick around, and how could I argue I told him I understood But I was cast low I went for a long walk on the beach Game over, I told myself The last thing I wanted was to pack up and return to Oregon But I couldnt see traveling around the world alone, either Go home, a faint inner voice told me Get a normal job Be a normal person Then I heard another faint voice, equally emphatic No, dont go home Keep going Dont stop The next day I gave my two weeks notice at the boiler room Too bad, Buck, one of the bosses said, you had a real future as a salesman God forbid, I muttered That afternoon, at a travel agency down the block, I purchased an open plane ticket, good for one year on any airline going anywhere A sort of Eurail Pass in the sky On Thanksgiving Day, 1962, I hoisted my backpack and shook Carters hand The captain addressed the passengers in rapid fire Japanese, and I started to sweat I looked out the window at the blazing red circle on the wing Was my idea crazy Maybe I was, in fact, crazy If so, it was too late to seek professional help The plane was screeching down the runway, roaring above Hawaiis cornstarch beaches I looked down at the massive volcanoes growing smaller and smaller No turning back Since it was Thanksgiving, the in flight meal was turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce Since we were bound for Japan, there was also raw tuna and miso soup I ate it all while reading the paperbacks Id stuffed into my backpack The Catcher in the Rye and Naked Lunch I identified with Holden Caulfield, the teenage introvert seeking his place in the world, but Burroughs went right over my head The junk merchant doesnt sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product Too rich for my blood I fell asleep When I woke we were in a steep, rapid descent Below us lay a startlingly bright Tokyo The Ginza in particular was like a Christmas tree Driving to my hotel, however, I saw only darkness Vast sections of the city were total liquid black War, the cabdriver said Many building still bomb For long, solemn stretches the cabdriver and I said nothing There was nothing to say Finally the driver stopped at the address written in my notebook A dingy hostel Beyond dingy Id made the reservation through American Express, sight unseen, a mistake, I now realized I crossed the pitted sidewalk and entered a building that seemed about to implode An old Japanese woman behind the front desk bowed to me I realized she wasnt bowing, she was bent by age, like a tree thats weathered many storms Slowly she led me to my room, which was a box Tatami mat, lopsided table, nothing else I didnt care I barely noticed that the tatami mat was wafer thin I bowed to the bent old woman, bidding her good night Oyasumi nasai I curled up on the mat and passed out Hours later I woke in a room flooded with light I crawled to the window Apparently I was in some kind of industrial district on the citys fringe, filled with docks and factories Everywhere I looked was desolation Buildings cracked and broken Block after block simply leveled Gone Luckily my father knew people in Tokyo, including a group of American guys working at United Press International I took a cab there and the guys greeted me like family They gave me coffee and a breakfast ring and when I told them where Id spent the night they laughed They booked me into a clean, decent hotel Then they wrote down the names of several good places to eat What in Gods name are you doing in Tokyo I explained that I was going around the world Then I mentioned my Crazy Idea Huh, they said, giving a little eye roll They mentioned two ex servicemen who ran a monthly magazine called Importer Talk to the fellas at Importer, they said, before you do anything rash I promised I would But first, I wanted to see the city Guidebook and Minolta box camera in hand, I sought out the few landmarks that had survived the war, the oldest temples and shrines I spent hours sitting on benches in walled gardens, reading about Japans dominant religions, Buddhism and Shinto I marveled at the concept of kensho, or satorienlightenment that comes in a flash, a blinding pop Sort of like the bulb on my Minolta I liked that I wanted that But first, Id need to change my whole approach I was a linear thinker, and according to Zen, linear thinking is nothing but a delusion, one of the many that keep us unhappy Reality is nonlinear, Zen says No future, no past All is now In every religion, it seemed, self is the obstacle, the enemy And yet Zen declares plainly that the self doesnt exist Self is a mirage, a fever dream, and our stubborn belief in its reality not only wastes life, but shortens it Self is the bald faced lie we tell ourselves daily, and happiness requires seeing through the lie, debunking it To study the self, said the thirteenth century Zen master Dgen, is to forget the self Inner voice, outer voices, its all the same No dividing lines Especially in competition Victory, Zen says, comes when we forget the self and the opponent, who are but two halves of one whole In Zen and the Art of Archery, its all laid out with crystal clarity Perfection in the art of swordsmanship is reached when the heart is troubled by no thought of I and You, of the opponent and his sword, of ones own sword and how to wield it All is emptiness your own self, the flashing sword, and the arms that wield it Even the thought of emptiness is no longer there My head swimming, I decided to take a break, to visit a very unZen landmark, in fact the most anti Zen place in Japan, an enclave where men focused on self and nothing but selfthe Tokyo Stock Exchange Housed in a marble Romanesque building with great big Greek columns, the Tosho looked from across the street like a stodgy bank in a quiet town in Kansas Inside, however, all was bedlam Hundreds of men waving their arms, pulling their hair, screaming A depraved version of Cornfelds boiler room I couldnt look away I watched and watched, asking myself, Is this what its all about Really I appreciated money as much as the next guy But I wanted my life to be about so much After the Tosho I needed peace I went deep into the silent heart of the city, to the garden of the nineteenth century emperor Meiji and his empress, a space thought to possess immense spiritual power I sat, contemplative, reverent, beneath swaying ginkgo trees, beside a beautiful torii gate I read in my guidebook that a torii gate is usually a portal to sacred places, and so I basked in the serenity, trying to soak it all in The next morning I laced up my running shoes and jogged to Tsukiji, the worlds largest fish market It was the Tosho all over again, with shrimp instead of stocks I watched ancient fishermen spread their catches onto wooden carts and haggle with leather faced merchants That night I took a bus up to the lakes region, in the northern Hakone Mountains, an area that inspired many of the great Zen poets You cannot travel the path until you have become the path yourself, said the Buddha, and I stood in awe before a path that twisted from the glassy lakes to cloud ringed Mount Fuji, a perfect snow clad triangle that looked to me exactly like Mount Hood back home The Japanese believe climbing Fuji is a mystical experience, a ritual act of celebration, and I was overcome with a desire to climb it, right then I wanted to ascend into the clouds I decided to wait, however I would return when I had something to celebrate I went back to Tokyo and presented myself at the Importer magazine The two ex servicemen in charge, thick necked, brawny, very busy, looked as if they might chew me out for intruding and wasting their time But within minutes their gruff exterior dissolved and they were warm, friendly, pleased to meet someone from back home We talked mostly about sports Can you believe the Yankees won it all again How about that Willie Mays None better Yessir, none better Then they told me their story They were the first Americans I ever met who loved Japan Stationed there during the Occupation, they fell under the spell of the culture, and when their hitch was up they simply couldnt bring themselves to leave So theyd launched an import magazine, when no one anywhere was interested in importing anything Japanese, and somehow theyd managed to keep it afloat for seventeen years I told them my Crazy Idea and they listened with some interest They made a pot of coffee and invited me to sit down Was there a particular line of Japanese shoes Id considered importing they asked I told them I liked Tiger, a nifty brand manufactured by Onitsuka Co., down in Kobe, the largest city in southern Japan Yes, yes, weve seen it, they said I told them I was thinking of heading down there, meeting the Onitsuka people face to face In that case, the men said, youd better learn a few things about doing business with the Japanese The key, they said, is dont be pushy Dont come on like the typical American, the typical gaijinrude, loud, aggressive, not taking no for an answer The Japanese do not react well to the hard sell Negotiations here tend to be soft Its a culture of indirection No one ever turns you down flat No one ever says, straight out, no But they dont say yes, either They speak in circles, sentences with no clear subject or object Dont be discouraged, but dont be cocky You might leave a mans office thinking youve blown it, when in fact hes ready to do a deal You might leave thinking youve closed a deal, when in fact youve just been rejected You never know I frowned Under the best of circumstances I was not a great negotiator Now I was going to have to negotiate in some kind of funhouse with trick mirrors Where normal rules didnt apply After an hour of this baffling tutorial, I shook hands and said my good byes Feeling suddenly that I couldnt wait, while their words were fresh in my mind, I raced back to my hotel, threw everything into my little suitcase and backpack, and phoned Onitsuka to make an appointment Later that afternoon I boarded a train south Japan was renowned for its impeccable order and extreme cleanliness Japanese literature, philosophy, clothing, domestic life, all were marvelously pure and spare Minimalist Expect nothing, seek nothing, grasp nothingthe immortal Japanese poets wrote lines that seemed polished and polished until they gleamed like the blade of a samurais sword, or the stones of a mountain brook So why, I wondered, is this train to Kobe so filthy The floors were strewn with newspapers and cigarette butts The seats were covered with orange rinds and discarded newspapers Worse, every car was packed There was barely room to stand I found a strap by a window and hung there for seven hours as the train rocked and inched past remote villages, past farms no bigger than the average Portland backyard The trip was long, but neither my legs nor my patience gave out I was too busy going over and over my tutorial When I arrived I took a small room in a cheap ryokan My appointment at Onitsuka was early the next morning, so I lay down immediately on the tatami mat But I was too excited to sleep I rolled around on the mat most of the night, and at dawn I rose wearily and stared at my gaunt, bleary reflection in the mirror After shaving, I put on my green Brooks Brothers suit and gave myself a pep talk You are capable You are confident You can do this You can DO this Then I went to the wrong place I presented myself at the Onitsuka showroom, when in fact I was expected at the Onitsuka factoryacross town I hailed a taxi and raced there, frantic, arriving half an hour late Unfazed, a group of four executives met me in the lobby They bowed I bowed One stepped forward He said his name was Ken Miyazaki, and he wished to give me a tour The first shoe factory Id ever seen I found everything about it interesting Even musical Each time a shoe was molded, the metal last would fall to the floor with a silvery tinkle, a melodic CLING clong Every few seconds, CLING clong, CLING clong, a cobblers concerto The executives seemed to enjoy it, too They smiled at me and each other We passed through the accounting department Everyone in the room, men and women, leaped from their chairs, and in unison bowed, a gesture of kei, respect for the American tycoon Id read that tycoon came from taikun, Japanese for warlord I didnt know how to acknowledge their kei To bow or not bow, that is always the question in Japan I gave a weak smile and a half bow, and kept moving The executives told me that they churned out fifteen thousand pairs of shoes each month Impressive, I said, not knowing if that was a lot or a little They led me into a conference room and pointed me to the chair at the head of a long round table Mr Knight, someone said, here Seat of honor More kei They arranged themselves around the table and straightened their ties and gazed at me The moment of truth had arrived Id rehearsed this scene in my head so many times, as Id rehearsed every race Id ever run, long before the starting pistol But now I realized this was no race There is a primal urge to compare everythinglife, business, adventures of all sortsto a race But the metaphor is often inadequate It can take you only so far Unable to remember what Id wanted to say, or even why I was here, I took several quick breaths Everything depended on my rising to this occasion Everything If I didnt, if I muffed this, Id be doomed to spend the rest of my days selling encyclopedias, or mutual funds, or some other junk I didnt really care about Id be a disappointment to my parents, my school, my hometown Myself I looked at the faces around the table Whenever Id imagined this scene, Id omitted one crucial element Id failed to foresee how present World War II would be in that room The war was right there, beside us, between us, attaching a subtext to every word we spoke And yet it also wasnt there The Japanese had put the war cleanly behind them Also, these executives in the conference room were young, like me, and you could see that they felt the war had nothing to do with them On the other hand, the past was past On the other hand, that whole question of Winning and Losing, which clouds and complicates so many deals, gets even complicated when the potential winners and losers have recently been involved, albeit via proxies and ancestors, in a global conflagration All of this interior static, this seesawing confusion about war and peace, created a low volume hum in my head, an awkwardness for which I was unprepared The realist in me wanted to acknowledge it, the idealist in me pushed it aside I coughed into my fist Gentlemen, I began Mr Miyazaki interrupted Mr Knight, what company are you with he asked Ah, yes, good question Adrenaline surging through my blood, I felt the flight response, the longing to run and hide, which made me think of the safest place in the world My parents house The house had been built decades before, by people with much money than my parents, and thus the architect had included servants quarters at the back of the house, and these quarters were my bedroom, which Id filled with baseball cards, record albums, posters, books Id also covered one wall with my blue ribbons from track, the one thing in my life of which I was unabashedly proud And so Blue Ribbon, I blurted Gentlemen, I represent Blue Ribbon Sports of Portland, Oregon Mr Miyazaki smiled The other executives smiled A murmur went around the table Blueribbon, blueribbon, blueribbon The executives folded their hands and fell silent again and resumed staring at me Well, I began again, gentlemen, the American shoe market is enormous And largely untapped If Onitsuka can penetrate that market, if Onitsuka can get its Tigers into American stores, and price them to undercut Adidas, which most American athletes now wear, it could be a hugely profitable venture I was simply quoting my presentation at Stanford, verbatim, speaking lines and numbers Id spent weeks and weeks researching and memorizing, and this helped to create an illusion of eloquence I could see that the executives were impressed But when I reached the end of my pitch there was a prickling silence Then one man broke the silence, and then another, and now they were all speaking over one another in loud, excited voices Not to me, but to each other Then, abruptly, they all stood and left Was this the customary Japanese way of rejecting a Crazy Idea To stand in unison and leave Had I squandered my keijust like that Was I dismissed What should I do Should I just leave After a few minutes they returned They were carrying sketches, samples, which Mr Miyazaki helped to spread before me Mr Knight, he said, weve been thinking long time about American market You have We already sell wrestling shoe in United States In, eh, Northeast But we discuss many time bringing other lines to other places in America They showed me three different models of Tigers A training shoe, which they called a Limber Up Nice, I said A high jump shoe, which they called a Spring Up Lovely, I said And a discus shoe, which they called a Throw Up Do not laugh, I told myself Do not laugh They barraged me with questions about the United States, about American culture and consumer trends, about different kinds of athletic shoes available in American sporting goods stores They asked me how big I thought the American shoe market was, how big it could be, and I told them that ultimately it could be 1 billion To this day Im not sure where that number came from They leaned back, gazed at each other, astonished Now, to my astonishment, they began pitching me Would Blue Ribbon be interested in representing Tiger shoes In the United States Yes, I said Yes, it would I held forth the Limber Up This is a good shoe, I said This shoeI can sell this shoe I asked them to ship me samples right away I gave them my address and promised to send them a money order for fifty dollars They stood They bowed deeply I bowed deeply We shook hands I bowed again They bowed again We all smiled We were partners We were brothers The meeting, which Id expected to last fifteen minutes, had gone two hours From Onitsuka I went straight to the nearest American Express office and sent a letter to my father Dear Dad Urgent Please wire fifty dollars right away to Onitsuka Co of Kobe Ho ho, hee hee strange things are happening Back in my hotel I walked in circles around my tatami mat, trying to decide Part of me wanted to race back to Oregon, wait for those samples, get a jump on my new business venture Also, I was crazed with loneliness, cut off from everything and everyone I knew The occasional sight of a New York Times or a Time magazine gave me a lump in my throat I was a castaway, a kind of modern Crusoe I wanted to be home again Now And yet I was still aflame with curiosity about the world I still wanted to see, to explore Curiosity won I went to Hong Kong and walked the mad, chaotic streets, horrified by the sight of legless, armless beggars, old men kneeling in filth, alongside pleading orphans The old men were mute, but the children had a cry they repeated Hey, rich man, hey, rich man, hey, rich man Then theyd weep or slap the ground Even after I gave them all the money in my pockets, the cry never stopped I went to the edge of the city, climbed to the top of Victoria Peak, gazed off into the distance at China In college Id read the analects of ConfuciusThe man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stonesand now I felt strongly that Id never have a chance to move this particular mountain Id never get any closer to that walled off mystical land, and it made me feel unaccountably sad Incomplete I went to the Philippines, which had all the madness and chaos of Hong Kong, and twice the poverty I moved slowly, as if in a nightmare, through Manila, through endless crowds and fathomless gridlock I went to Bangkok, where I rode a long pole boat through murky swamps to an open air market that seemed a Thai version of a Hieronymous Bosch painting I ate birds, and fruits, and vegetables Id never seen before, and never would again I dodged rickshaws, scooters, tuk tuks, and elephants to reach Wat Phra Kaew, and one of the most sacred statues in Asia, an enormous six hundred year old Buddha carved from a single hunk of jade Standing before its placid face, I asked, Why am I here What is my purpose I waited Nothing Or else the silence was my answer I went to Vietnam, where streets were bristling with American soldiers, and thrumming with fear Everyone knew that war was coming Days before Christmas, 1962, I went on to Calcutta, and rented a room the size of a coffin No bed, no chair there wasnt enough space Just a hammock suspended above a fizzing holethe toilet Within hours I fell ill An airborne virus, probably, or food poisoning For one whole day I believed that I wouldnt make it I knew that I was going to die But I rallied, somehow, forced myself out of that hammock, and the next day I was walking unsteadily with thousands of pilgrims and dozens of sacred monkeys down the steep staircase of Varanasi temple The steps led directly into the hot seething Ganges When the water was at my waist I looked upa mirage No, a funeral, taking place in the middle of the river In fact, several funerals I watched mourners wade out into the current and place their loved ones atop tall wooden biers, then set them afire Not twenty yards away, others were calmly bathing Still others were slaking their thirst with the same water The Upanishads say, Lead me from the unreal to the real So I fled the unreal I flew to Kathmandu and hiked straight up the clean white wall of the Himalayas On the descent I stopped at a crowded chowk and devoured a bowl of buffalo meat, blood rare The Tibetans in the chowk, I noted, wore boots of red wool and green flannel, with upturned wooden toes, not unlike the runners on sleds Suddenly I was noticing everyones shoes I went back to India, spent New Years Eve wandering the streets of Bombay, weaving in and out among oxen and long horned cows, feeling the start of an epic migrainethe noise and the smells, the colors and the glare I went on to Kenya, and took a long bus ride deep into the bush Giant ostriches tried to outrun the bus, and storks the size of pit bulls floated just outside the windows Every time the driver stopped, in the middle of nowhere, to pick up a few Maasai warriors, a baboon or two would try to board The driver and warriors would then chase the baboons off with machetes Before stepping off the bus, the baboons would always glance over their shoulders and give me a look of wounded pride Sorry, old man, I thought If it were up to me I went to Cairo, to the Giza plateau, and stood beside desert nomads and their silk draped camels at the foot of the Great Sphinx, all of us squinting up into its eternally open eyes The sun hammered down on my head, the same sun that hammered down on the thousands of men who built these pyramids, and the millions of visitors who came after Not one of them was remembered, I thought All is vanity, says the Bible All is now, says Zen All is dust, says the desert I went to Jerusalem, to the rock where Abraham prepared to kill his son, where Muhammad began his heavenward ascent The Koran says the rock wanted to join Muhammad, and tried to follow, but Muhammad pressed his foot to the rock and stopped it His footprint is said to be still visible Was he barefoot or wearing a shoe I ate a terrible midday meal in a dark tavern, surrounded by soot faced laborers Each looked bone tired They chewed slowly, absently, like zombies Why must we work so hard I thought Consider the lilies of the field they neither toil nor spin And yet the first century rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah said our work is the holiest part of us All are proud of their craft God speaks of his work how much should man I went on to Istanbul, got wired on Turkish coffee, got lost on the twisty streets beside the Bosphorus I stopped to sketch the glowing minarets, and toured the golden labyrinths of Topkapi Palace, home of the Ottoman sultans, where Muhammads sword is now kept Dont go to sleep one night, wrote Rm, the thirteenth century Persian poet What you most want will come to you then Warmed by a sun inside youll see wonders I went to Rome, spent days hiding in small trattorias, scarfing mountains of pasta, gazing upon the most beautiful women, and shoes, Id ever seen Romans in the age of the Caesars believed that putting on the right shoe before the left brought prosperity and good luck I explored the grassy ruins of Neros bedroom, the gorgeous rubble of the Coliseum, the vast halls and rooms of the Vatican Expecting crowds, I was always out the door at dawn, determined to be first in line But there was never a line The city was mired in a historic cold snap I had it all to myself Even the Sistine Chapel Alone under Michelangelos ceiling, I was able to wallow in my disbelief I read in my guidebook that Michelangelo was miserable while painting his masterpiece His back and neck ached Paint fell constantly into his hair and eyes He couldnt wait to be finished, he told friends If even Michelangelo didnt like his work, I thought, what hope is there for the rest of us I went to Florence, spent days seeking Dante, reading Dante, the angry, exiled misanthrope Did the misanthropy come firstor after Was it the cause or the effect of his anger and exile I stood before Michelangelos David, shocked at the anger in his eyes Goliath never had a chance I went by train up to Milan, communed with Da Vinci, considered his beautiful notebooks, and wondered at his peculiar obsessions Chief among them, the human foot Masterpiece of engineering, he called it A work of art Who was I to argue On my last night in Milan I attended the opera at La Scala I aired out my Brooks Brothers suit and wore it proudly amid the uomini poured into custom tailored tuxedoes and the donne molded into bejeweled gowns We all listened in wonder to Turandot As Calaf sang Nessun dormaSet, stars At dawn I will win, I will win, I will win my eyes welled, and with the fall of the curtain I leaped to my feet Bravissimo I went to Venice, spent a few languorous days walking in the footsteps of Marco Polo, and stood I dont know how long before the palazzo of Robert Browning If you get simple beauty and naught else, you get about the best thing God invents My time was running out Home was calling to me I hurried to Paris, descended far belowground to the Panthon, put my hand lightly on the crypts of Rousseauand Voltaire Love truth, but pardon error I took a room in a seedy hotel, watched sheets of winter rain sluice the alley below my window, prayed at Notre Dame, got lost in the Louvre I bought a few books at Shakespeare and Company, and I stood in the spot where Joyce slept, and F Scott Fitzgerald I then walked slowly down the Seine, stopping to sip a cappuccino at the caf where Hemingway and Dos Passos read the New Testament aloud to each other On my last day I sauntered up the Champs lyses, tracing the liberators path, thinking all the while of Patton Dont tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results Of all the great generals, he was the most shoe obsessed A soldier in shoes is only a soldier But in boots he becomes a warrior I flew to Munich, visited Brgerbrukeller, where Hitler fired a gun into the ceiling and started the beginning of what led to World War II I tried to visit Dachau, but when I asked for directions people looked away, professing not to know I went to Berlin and presented myself at Checkpoint Charlie Russian guards in heavy topcoats examined my passport, patted me down, asked what business I had in communist East Berlin None, I said I was terrified that theyd somehow find out Id attended Stanford Just before I arrived two Stanford students had tried to smuggle a teenager out in a Volkswagen They were still in prison But the guards waved me through I walked a little ways and stopped at the corner of Marx Engels Platz I looked around, all directions Nothing No trees, no stores, no life I thought of all the poverty Id seen in every corner of Asia This was a different kind of poverty, willful, somehow, preventable I saw three children playing in the street I walked over, took their picture Two boys and a girl, eight years old The girlred wool hat, pink coatsmiled directly at me Will I ever forget her Or her shoes They were made of cardboard I went to Vienna, that momentous, coffee scented crossroads, where Stalin and Trotsky and Tito and Hitler and Jung and Freud all lived, at the same historical moment, and all loitered in the same steamy cafs, plotting how to save or end the world I walked the cobblestones Mozart walked, crossed his graceful Danube on the most beautiful stone bridge I ever saw, stopped before the towering spires of St Stephens Church, where Beethoven discovered he was deaf He looked up, saw birds fluttering from the bell tower, and to his horror he did not hear the bells At last I flew to London I went quickly to Buckingham Palace, Speakers Corner, Harrods I granted myself a bit of extra time at Commons Eyes closed, I conjured the great Churchill You ask, What is our aim I can answer in one word It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory without victory, there is no survival I wanted desperately to hop a bus to Stratford, to see Shakespeares house But I was out of time I spent my last night thinking back over my trip, making notes in my journal I asked myself, What was the highlight Greece, I thought No question Greece When I first left Oregon I was most excited about two things on my itinerary I wanted to pitch the Japanese my Crazy Idea And I wanted to stand before the Acropolis Hours before boarding my flight at Heathrow, I meditated on that moment, looking up at those astonishing columns, experiencing that bracing shock, the kind you receive from all great beauty, but mixed with a powerful sense ofrecognition Was it only my imagination After all, I was standing at the birthplace of Western civilization Maybe I merely wanted it to be familiar But I didnt think so I had the clearest thought Ive been here before Then, walking up those bleached steps, another thought This is where it all begins On my left was the Parthenon, which Plato had watched the teams of architects and workmen build On my right was the Temple of Athena Nike Twenty five centuries ago, per my guidebook, it had housed a beautiful frieze of the goddess Athena, thought to be the bringer of nike, or victory It was one of many blessings Athena bestowed She also rewarded the dealmakers In the Oresteia she says I admire the eyes of persuasion She was, in a sense, the patron saint of negotiators I dont know how long I stood there, absorbing the energy and power of that epochal place An hour Three I dont know how long after that day I discovered the Aristophanes play, set in the Temple of Nike, in which the warrior gives the king a gifta pair of new shoes I dont know when I figured out that the play was called Knights I do know that as I turned to leave I noticed the temples marble faade Greek artisans had decorated it with several haunting carvings, including the most famous, in which the goddess inexplicably leans down to adjust the strap of her shoe February 24, 1963 My twenty fifth birthday I walked through the door on Claybourne Street, hair to my shoulders, beard three inches long My mother let out a cry My sisters blinked as if they didnt recognize me, or else hadnt realized Id been gone Hugs, shouts, bursts of laughter My mother made me sit, poured me a cup of coffee She wanted to hear everything But I was exhausted I set my suitcase and backpack in the hall and went to my room I stared blearily at my blue ribbons Mr Knight, what is the name of your company I curled up on the bed and sleep came on An hour later I woke to my mother calling out, Dinner My father was home from work, and he embraced me as I came into the dining room He, too, wanted to hear every detail And I wanted to tell him But first, I wanted to know one thing Dad, I said Did my shoes comeKnight writes from the heart in this young adult version of his 2016 adult memoir The book takes readers from the beginning of his dream to the creation of the internationally known, uber successful Nike brand Shoe Dog reads like a great story about how an ambition turned into a business, while at the same time it serves as a guide for accomplishing great things VOYA VOYA Oct 1, 2017 This book, a young readers edition of Knights autobiography, is an eye opening look into the story of Knight before his multibillion dollar company His tenacity is inspiring and will be a valuable lesson for young entrepreneurs School LIbrary Journal School Library Journal November 1, 2017 Shoe Dog Young Readers Edition abebooks AbeBooks Shoe by Phil Knight and a great selection of similar New, Used Collectible Books available on FREE shipping qualifying offers This book, young reader s edition Book Official Publisher autobiography, is an eye opening look into the story before his multibillion Editions by Editions for Hardcover published in , Kindle Edition Download it once read your device, PC, phones or tablets Use features like Adorable shelter dog learns house rules charming Read Media review, age rating, parents guidePhil Wikipedia Early life was born Portland, Oregon, son lawyer turned newspaper publisher Bill Knight, wife Lota Hatfield family Forbes founder shoe giant Nike, retired as chairman June after years at company ran track University Oregon created Nike Help us improve our Author Pages updating bibliography submitting new current image biography Philip Wikipdia Philip est n le fvrier Portland en Il fondateur et l ancien PDG de actionnaire majoritaire du studio d animation Laika Norbert Leo Butz Butz NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In this candid riveting Hampson Februar ist ein US amerikanischer Unternehmer und Grnder sowie ehemaliger Vorstandsvorsitzender H Entrepreneur man whom The Sporting News voted most powerful person sports wasn t athlete, manager team owner He A Memoir Creator memoir, first time ever, board shares inside early Nike profile Business Insider started simple idea had grad school now synonymous with athletic gear Search Results Journal executive moves follow Jordan Brand shaky financial year Revenue off division even unveiled several splashy marketing Five Things to know Monday Remembering Amy Paterson Swindells pair, who led different professional lives, made their biggest marks moving Worries That Nation is BEAVERTON, Ore brand Literally old largest footwear apparel world Penny will give million to are checkbook again Shoe Dog: Young Readers Edition

    • Format Kindle
    • 1534401180
    • Shoe Dog: Young Readers Edition
    • Phil Knight
    • Anglais
    • 01 May 2016

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