In 1977, Nike executive Rob Strasser drafted a list of 10 company "principles" during a period of challenge and growth for the company.
The memo reflects the irreverence and competitiveness of early Nike employees, including a range of principles such as, "Break the rules; fight the law," and "It won't be pretty." Sales that year were $28.7 million, the company employed fewer than 1,000 people, and the US federal government had just demanded $25 million for unpaid tariffs on sneakers, which Nike could not afford. Strasser's memo has been erroneously attributed to Phil Knight in the past but is considered reflective of the early culture and values of the company.
The memo is still inspiring for many and was the precursor to the corporate "Maxims" introduced by Nike in 2001.