I have just finished reading “Swoosh. The unauthorizes story of Nike and the men who played there“. Even though it was a business book, it read like a novel, telling the story of Phil Knight and the men who worked with him to make Nike a billion dollar company.

What struck me most was that when you got closer to the end of the book, you could see how the company was transformed from a dynamic, creative (almost anarchistic) company into a corporate behemoth. I want to share the ending with you:

“The new leaders of Nike are not entrepreneurs like their predecessors. They are managers, very good managers – much better managers than their predecessors. The pain-in-the ass individualism that made Nike different is gone, but so is the spirit that made employees care. There are experts who would say that such a transition was inevitable, that every large company goes through a transition from entrepreneurs to managerq. But if times ever got tough again, which would you turn to? And, perhaps, just as important, who would you rather go to a ball game with?”

“Just do it?”

UPDATE: You might also want to read this and this article from Harvard Business School, which deal with when it is time for a company’s founder to “move on” and hand over the reins to a new CEO.