In the summer of 1972, after seven years of running a successful business importing running shoes from Japan, Phil Knight was about to release Nike shoes to the world. The National Sporting Goods Association show in Chicago was going to make or break Knight and his fledgling company.
Despite their cool “swoosh” logo (which they paid a local artist only $35 to create), a unique company named after the Greek goddess of victory and bright orange boxes of shoes that stood out from the crowd, they had crooked logos and completely flawed shoes. With everything riding on these shoes, panic set in among the employees attending the show.
But a funny thing happened. As the buyers came through the Nike booth, peppering the employees with questions, they bought the hell out of the shoes, flaws and all.
One of the longtime salesmen asked one of their biggest accounts what was going on.
“We show up with this new Nike, and it’s totally untested, and frankly it’s not even all that good – and you guys are buying it. What gives?”
The man laughed. “We’ve been doing business with … you guys for years,” he said, “and we know that you guys tell the truth. Everyone …read more