This 1970s Nike Manifesto Is Absolutely Wild

This 1970s Nike Manifesto Is Absolutely Wild

This 1970s Nike Manifesto Is Absolutely Wild

Is a modern office really an office without inspirational quotes scrawled on the walls, stairs and meeting rooms? These quotes are an integral part of office life these days, though it’s hard to know if anyone is truly inspired by these maxims. We bet those in your office don’t stick in the mind as much as those in an old internal Nike memo — or as much as the famous Nike logo.

The memo was apparently distributed by Nike marketing director Rob Strasser in 1977 and includes ‘living off the land’, ‘It’s not going to be pretty’ and ‘If we do the right things, we’ll almost automatically make money’, which are varying degrees of odd. Let’s unpack them a little more. First of all, we don’t quite understand what ‘living off the land’ means. Did Nike want its employees to look for food? Or is it a comment about using sustainable materials (we suspect not)?

‘It’s not going to be pretty’ makes us think that the workplace was more of a horror story than an office. And ‘If we do the right things, we’ll make money almost automatically’ is presumably a rousing ending to the manifesto. It’s a lovely feeling we think it is to put results before profit, but let’s be honest, it’s not true in many situations. To begin with, doing the right thing and capitalism or mass production don’t always go together. If you plan to start a business soon, we don’t recommend gluing this one to the wall.

(Image credit: Nike via @mrexits on Twitter)

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I personally would love to know how the memo was received by employees at the time. They were genuinely inspired by ‘put some effort in, push others’ and ‘your work isn’t done until The the job is done’, or were they cynical about the whole thing?

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