Phil Knight, United States, Shoe Bilbao discussed on Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman
Was revealed but fillon his friend still tried to unload the free merchandise selling. A cyclopes door to door is a bit of an overstatement. Since i didn't sell a single one. But i did try it for a week before i quit. It wasn't by choice. But phil learned a valuable lesson. Selling by deception is harder than it looks. It feels bad to trick people into buying a product. You don't believe in and they don't want to give selling a bad reputation it places customer and salesperson in zero-some match that only one of them can win and frequently. They both lose luckily fills. Brief foray into the encyclopedic arts was merely a side to his main mission. That had started back when he was a student at the university of oregon ran on the track team coached by bill armony hall of fame coach and he was always experimenting with shoes in those days. All the really great runners were either adidas or puma shoes and it was a real eye opener for me when davis won the pacific coast conference championship and a pair of barman homemade shoes. If you're having a hard time picturing pair of homemade track shoes they're little frankenstein ish with leather operas. Cut by hand and glued to rubber and metal souls. Bilbao woman was so obsessed with making lightweight racing spikes for his runners. He even studied with a cobbler. Each new prototype was an experiment. Often performed unfil- himself. He tried it out on his as he called his hamburgers before. I put it on his elite athletes. He felt that getting lighter shoes was important. Those bauer men homemade shoes left their imprint. On phil's mind it stayed there when he went on to business school at stanford. I wrote a paper in the entrepreneurship class. Japanese shoes do german shoes with japanese cameras. Did a german cameras. The teacher a game a good grade. And i got kind of excited about it and away. We go fill wasn't trying to build shoes like his old track coach. He just wanted to sell them and he had an idea of where the innovation was happening. He headed to japan with one. Brief encyclopaedia field stop in hawaii. Along the way phil managed to score a meeting with executives from the nitsa company who manufactured an exciting new running shoe called the tiger was the kind of lightweight performance. Shoe bilbao woman had been trying to make from scratch. Phil wanted to sell it in the us. Now he needed to sell nitsa on himself. At the end of the day it was a sales experience. Right i got sell them. On letting me be a distributor of the tiger shoes fill improvise the name for his existent company. Right there on the spot. Blue ribbon sports. The name might have been made up but his enthusiasm for the tiger was honest. So is diligent market research and strategy to capture market share from adidas his passion and preparedness convinced nigga to make blue ribbon sports. They're american distributor. His sales pitch had worked now. He needed make good on his promises. He returned to the united states. Got himself some samples and got to work. One of his first calls was to his old track coach. I don't remember how many samples got in but it was probably twenty pair. Maybe i sent a couple of them down barmen and hoping that he would buy some for his team he called me up and he said i'm going to be up in portland for an indoor meet. Let's have lunch. That's when he proposed that we partners and i was thrilled. We shook hands in the agreed to put in five hundred dollars. And that's what i had put in as there. We go fill had come to the table looking to make a sale instead. He got a founding partner. Without even having the pitch baron had immediately recognized what is former runner was offering. It was a chance to create a future. They both believed in full of featherweight sneakers. That would help people run fast. The idea sold itself. His deal was the world needs better running shoe and these were people that made good shoes and were really responsive to ideas on making better shoes but as much improved as the tiger shoes were. It didn't take long fulfill and co-chairman to start tinkering with the design. They said this is a great high. Jump training shoe and it had some cushioning in it. And i says well that's sort of silly for the high jump shoe but cushioning for a running shoe makes perfect sense and it didn't make that much sense of japan where they average runaway about one hundred twenty five pounds but in the united states were the one hundred sixty pound runner running on the streets. Cushioning men a lot barmen was tearing us apart which ultimately led to a shoe called cortez. Which was the first cushioned. Mid-sole running shoe which really kind of got us going. The partnership between phil knight bill bauer and own nitsa tiger clicked because of a shared goal improve functionality and quality while keeping their price point below that of puma and adidas fill the value of the product was obvious if the shoe performed it would sell period and the proof was in the receipts. We went eight years as it. Sugar and we got sales up to two million dollars. Which in modern times doesn't seem like much but their total sales in japan were twenty two million dollars so it was not bad. It wasn't bad but soon other distributors started noticing and they wanted in a nitsa was fielding competitive offers to help sell their shoes to american athletes. They got besieged by different distributors. United states..