The Power of Network Effects and Nike's Journey with the "Just Do It" Slogan



Sep 03, 2023 • 3 min read


The Power of Network Effects and Nike's Journey with the "Just Do It" Slogan

In today's competitive business landscape, understanding the concept of network effects is crucial not only for building better products but also for creating a strong moat that protects software companies against competitors. As Andreessen Horowitz explains, network effects play a pivotal role in the success of a company by increasing its value as more users join the network.

Similarly, Nike's iconic "Just Do It" slogan holds significant importance in the brand's history. The slogan was first introduced in 1987 by Wieden + Kennedy as part of Nike's inaugural television campaign. The goal was to create a tagline that would resonate with both hardcore athletes and those seeking a morning walk. Interestingly, the inspiration for the line came from the last words of convicted murderer Gary Gilmore, who defiantly exclaimed "Let's do it!" before facing a firing squad. This phrase struck a chord not only within the athletic community but also with individuals who had little to no connection to sports.

Nike's "Just Do It" slogan quickly became more than just a catchy tagline. The company viewed it as a brand identity and philosophy rather than a mere slogan. Nike's approach was to invite people to join them in their beliefs and values, particularly in serving and honoring athletes. The slogan became a rallying cry for individuals to push their limits, embrace challenges, and take action.

When we analyze the concepts of network effects and Nike's "Just Do It" slogan, we can find some commonalities. Both ideas focus on the power of community and the impact that collective action can have. Network effects highlight how a larger user base can enhance the value and utility of a product or service. Similarly, Nike's slogan emphasizes the importance of individuals coming together to pursue their athletic goals and overcome obstacles.

Moreover, both network effects and the "Just Do It" slogan have proven to be enduring. They have stood the test of time and continue to be relevant in today's world. Network effects have become a fundamental principle in the tech industry, driving the success of platforms like Facebook, Uber, and Airbnb. Likewise, Nike's "Just Do It" slogan remains a cornerstone of the brand's identity, inspiring athletes and individuals across the globe.

To leverage the power of network effects and embody the spirit of Nike's "Just Do It" slogan, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Cultivate a strong sense of community: Foster an environment where users feel connected and engaged with your product or service. Encourage interaction and collaboration among users to create a sense of belonging and shared purpose.
  • 2. Focus on user experience: Continuously improve and enhance the user experience to keep users engaged and satisfied. Invest in features and functionalities that add value and make your product or service indispensable to users.
  • 3. Communicate a compelling brand story: Develop a narrative and brand identity that resonates with your target audience. Clearly articulate your values, mission, and vision to attract like-minded individuals who align with your brand's ethos.

In conclusion, network effects and Nike's "Just Do It" slogan exemplify the power of community and collective action. Understanding the dynamics of network effects is crucial for building successful products and protecting companies from competitors. Similarly, Nike's slogan has become a timeless rallying cry for individuals to push their boundaries and embrace challenges. By incorporating the principles of network effects and the spirit of "Just Do It," businesses can create a strong and engaged community that propels their success.


  1. "All about Network Effects - Andreessen Horowitz", (Glasp)
  2. "The history of Nike’s Just Do It slogan – Creative review", (Glasp)

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