Stories from the Shoemaker, Reebok's Co-Founder

Reebok co-founder Joe Foster recounts pivotal stories from his 31 years running the business.

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Joe Foster is the co-founder of Reebok and the author of Shoemaker: The Untold Story of the British Family Firm that Became a Global Brand. In this episode of #ThePlaybook, Foster talks with host David Meltzer about starting Reebok, its early successes and his advice to entrepreneurs about embracing change.

Foster talks about his family’s shoemaking legacy and how he and his brother left the family business to begin their own company. He retells how they landed on “Reebok” as the name of the company based on a perusal of an American dictionary and how they redid the logo after Adidas claimed their earlier logo was too similar to theirs.

Foster talks about running’s explosive growth in the U.S. during the 70s and how Reebok capitalized on the popularity of Runner’s World by developing a highly rated running shoe.

Foster advises entrepreneurs to embrace change and growth, noting that there is no plateau in business — the other side of the hill is downhill. He also illustrates the importance of innovation with a story about introducing the aerobics shoe to the market through instructors in Los Angeles, propelling the brand’s popularity globally.

Related: Unlocking Human Performance

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