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Publication Date: September 26th 2017
Publisher: Harper Business
Genres: Nonfiction, Business, Science & Technology
Goodreads Blurb: As told by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Hit Refresh is the story of corporate change and reinvention as well as the story of Nadella’s personal journey, one that is taking place today inside a storied technology company, and one that is coming in all of our lives as intelligent machines become more ambient and more ubiquitous. It’s about how people, organizations and societies can and must hit refresh—transform—in their persistent quest for new energy, new ideas, relevance and renewal. At the core, it’s about us humans and our unique qualities, like empathy, which will become ever more valuable in a world where the torrent of technology will disrupt like never before. As much a humanist as a technologist, Nadella defines his mission and that of the company he leads as empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Do you know who is Satya Nadella? If not, then I guess this review is not for you. If yes, then you should definitely read it 🙂 Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone is Nadella’s and Microsoft’s journey to hit refresh and bring a better future for Microsoft.
This book is not for everyone. It is for those who understand technology a bit and are interested in knowing the inner workings of an organization like Microsoft. Not just about Microsoft, you need to learn what a person Satya Nadella is how is reached from a small place in India to where he is today.
Before talking about the possible reasons as for why you should read this, let’s talk about what you can actually expect from this book. If you see at a high level, this book is basically divided into three main parts:
- Satya Nadella’s journey from a student in India to becoming the CEO of Microsoft along with his personal challenges.
- The changes and transformations in Microsoft under his tenure.
- Emphasis on industry regulations, revolutions and trend changes.
Now let’s move to the probable reasons as to why you should read it.
5 Reasons to Read Hit Refresh
1. To know Satya Nadella’s journey from India to Microsoft
Satya Nadella’s journey is encouraging as well as powerful. His story shows us that how hard work and talent can lead you to the places you only dream about. Satya belongs to a middle-class Indian family. He talks about his life and friends in India and how his parents shaped his future to be a better human being. He was and is a big cricket enthusiast and he explained how the game of Cricket actually helped him to learn the qualities like leadership and empathy. The part where Satya told about his initial move to the US was very moving. His wife was having trouble in getting the visa and he was ready to give up his green card in case she did not get it. But luckily she got it. I was surprised to know that their first child is disabled. I can understand the difficulties that they would have faced.
“I discovered Buddha did not set out to found a world religion. He set out to understand why one suffers. I learned that only through living life’s ups and downs can you develop empathy; that in order not to suffer, or at least not to suffer so much, one must become comfortable with impermanence.”
There were so many things to learn from Satya’s examples. He encourages you to take challenges and to listen to your heart sometime. He tells the importance of family and how it helps make your future.
2. If interested in knowing more about Microsoft and how actually Microsoft did “hit refresh”
It was fun to know the internal working of Microsoft. When Satya became the CEO, and even the years before that, Microsoft was going downwards. He took many decisions which not only changed the face of Microsoft but allowed them to transform the Microsoft completely. The decisions were not at all easy, but it was important to take those. Satya Realised that except Office, none of their products were selling as they had speculated because of the competition going on in the market from the rivals like Amazon and Apple.
Satya did many changes in the company’s culture and took a complete 180 degrees turn (Hit Refresh) to not only encourage the employee’s satisfaction but also encouraged them to have more empathy. He encouraged them to learn more, to ask questions and to participate fully.
3. If you want to know what actually goes behind successful companies and their struggles
This is not a hidden fact that so much politics go inside big companies like Microsoft. It was amazing to know the work culture of Microsoft, its various work programmes, its team divisions and inside details. If you are someone who likes to join Microsoft someday or is simply fascinated by it, you would find it particularly interesting. It doesn’t matter how big is an organization. There is always a room for more improvement and growth. Microsoft was too lenient a few years ago and employees were unsatisfied. Satya tried to change this and thus helped Microsoft to come out of the difficult phase.
“I knew that to lead effectively I needed to get some things square in my own mind—and, ultimately, in the minds of everyone who works at Microsoft. Why does Microsoft exist? And why do I exist in this new role? These are questions everyone in every organization should ask themselves. I worried that failing to ask these questions, and truly answer them, risked perpetuating earlier mistakes and, worse, not being honest.”
4. If you are a tech person or love technology
Oh yes! If you simply love technology you should read this whether you are in a technical field or not. Satya has talked about many technologies which I was amazed to hear for the first time. There was seriously so much to learn about the new products that Microsoft is making or the current projects they are working on. I had heard many of the names before, but I had never gone into the details of things like quantum computing and artificial intelligence. But Satya’s words will take you on that amazing journey. As per him, currently there are three big technology trends: artificial intelligence, mixed reality and quantum computing and they have to work towards making a hold on those.
5. If you want to learn the basic importance of leadership, empathy, equation of trust etc.
This was my favourite part of the book. It was more like a moral teaching. Satya told that in today’s world we should try to make friends even with our enemies. He describes how partnerships with companies like Samsung, Adobe and Apple have provided benefits to Microsoft and have given future alliances to strengthen themselves with a clear focus. With making the enemies friends (fre-enemies) often we can get profits in some fields, if not at all. He talked about the importance of leadership and how that leadership quality helped him to overcome the failure that Microsoft was going towards.
“It showed me that you must always have respect for your competitor, but don’t be in awe.”
He also talked about the changing laws and how those laws also need to be modernized to govern all the new technologies so that no new country or the security systems can breach them. Technology is continuously evolving and our laws to be evolved too. The main focus should be public safety and security. Satya talked about these guidelines and policies and where we should start them.
There is a lot to learn from this book. Not only you can learn many things about Satya himself, but also about the Microsoft’s journey and the changes, it incorporated in order to survive. This book can get a little technical in between. But if you are a technology enthusiast you should definitely read this. You should read this to understand how technology is going to change and is going to affect YOU and what role you can play into this.
Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella is an important read to understand how technology is going to change and is going to affect YOU and what role you can play into this.
Have you heard about this book? Do you read this kind of books?
Are you interested in knowing more about technology? Are you a technology enthusiast?
Do you know about Satya Nadela and his journey to Microsoft?