This post is the transcript of a podcast about the birth of Nike. Whilst there are few business similarities between a sports shoe manufacturer and our business, the story reminded me of the genesis of Passle.
In the podcast, Phil Knight, former CEO of Nike talks about how they spotted a pain point (runners want faster shoes) for an industry (running) and then delivered technology to help the expert (the runner) succeed.
The parallel with Passle is striking. Just as we cannot pretend to make our experts cleverer or more expert, we can enable them to demonstrate their abilities in a fashion that is easy for observers to understand (in our case through commentary about industry events, in Nike's through winning races).
Also, we initially targeted high-profile individuals, hoping that they'd use the service for the brand endorsement it brought. Clearly Nike had a similar approach (although none of our authors have yet become part of the company).
Phil Knight, former chair and CEO of Nike, tells the story of starting the sports apparel and equipment giant after taking an entrepreneurship class at Stanford and teaming up with his former track coach, Bill Bowerman. Together (and with the help of a waffle iron) they changed how running shoes are designed and made. Knight discusses the company’s enduring culture of innovation, as well as the succession process that led to former runner and Nike insider Mark Parker becoming CEO.