- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Harper Business (Sept. 26 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062652508
- ISBN-13: 978-0062652508
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 476 g
- Customer Reviews: 525 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #128,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone Hardcover – Sept. 26 2017
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About the Author
Satya Nadella is Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft. Before being named CEO on February 4, 2014, Nadella held leadership roles in both enterprise and consumer businesses across the company.
After Joining Microsoft in 1992, Nadella quickly became known within the company as a leader who could span a breadth of technologies and businesses to transform some of the world’s best known and most used products.
Originally from Hyderabad, India, Nadella now lives in Bellevue, Washington. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago. Nadella is married and has three children. In his spare time, he loves to read poetry and follows cricket, a sport he played in school.
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I’ve appreciate Nadella's tenure as the leader at Microsoft, and the focus he brings to accessible tech for people with learning difference and disabilities. Lots of great wisdom that is applicable well beyond the tech world, but a tech bias will help you enjoy his book even more. A
Top international reviews
Now let’s move to the probable reasons as to why you should read it.
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. 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.
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.
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.
Then along came the smartphone revolution and Microsoft realised the old ways couldn’t continue – they needed new blood and they had it, in the form a Microsoft’s own Satya Nadella.
In this book, Satya talks about his humble beginnings in India, growing up with a love of cricket, his journey to America, the very personal story of his family and how it affected his world view.
The book is a book of 2 halves.
The first half deals with what was and how to overcome it – the finding of Microsoft’s soul once again. Satya knew he had to change the culture of Microsoft, one of a “know-it-all” company to one of a “learn-it-all”. There are many anecdotes in this book but one which stood out the most was that Microsoft had employees who wanted to do things and try new things but were told not to because their focus was on Windows and the Server business. Satya’s pledge to “reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more” started within Microsoft – the book talks about this transformation of culture.
The second half of the book looks more at the next big things – Artificial Intelligence, Mixed Reality and Quantum Computer, all which Microsoft are investing heavily in. It also looks at Privacy in a Digital age, what the means for users, governments and tech companies and Ethical framework for AI, all important topics to discuss in this ever-increasing Digital world.
There are great lessons for leadership within this book, my personal favourite is what Satya describes as “not his best line of poetry” but it rings true for leaders in business.
All in all, the book offers insight into 1 of the biggest changes in corporate culture in modern history, how it was done and insight from a leader in 1 of the largest technology companies in the world on what may lie ahead in our near future. For fans of technology or people looking to learn more leadership skills, this book is worth picking up.
Nadella is clearly an exceptional visionary with much we can learn about the importance of empathy, a sense of purpose, and a focus on his employees and customers. Good luck and keep doing it
If you work in business or IT this is a must read