Hit Refresh
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.

Hit Refresh Details

TitleHit Refresh
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 15th, 2017
PublisherHarper Business
ISBN-139780062652508
Rating
GenreBusiness, Nonfiction, Biography, Science, Technology, Management, Leadership, Cultural, Inspirational, Autobiography, Memoir

Hit Refresh Review

  • Sanjay
    January 1, 1970
    Recommended for only Microsoft employees.
  • Caroline Berg
    January 1, 1970
    Another reviewer says this is "Recommended for only Microsoft employees" but I disagree. This book isn't even for all Microsoft employees, for it leaves out a very large percentage us - the contractors. In fact, I wouldn't have read this book at all if my boss, who is a full-time employee and not a vendor contractor, hadn't picked up a number of these (the Employee Edition was given away on the Microsoft campus for free - but not to contractors) and dispersed them about the team so that everyone Another reviewer says this is "Recommended for only Microsoft employees" but I disagree. This book isn't even for all Microsoft employees, for it leaves out a very large percentage us - the contractors. In fact, I wouldn't have read this book at all if my boss, who is a full-time employee and not a vendor contractor, hadn't picked up a number of these (the Employee Edition was given away on the Microsoft campus for free - but not to contractors) and dispersed them about the team so that everyone could read them.I do not want to minimize the challenges Mr. Nadella faced and had the strength to write about in the book. He went through some tough times with an optimism that, quite frankly, I'm not sure I would have had in the same situations. That said, I believe it is very hard to change the culture of a corporation when a good number of its employees are treated like second-class citizens. And by no means is Microsoft the only tech company to do so; contractor culture is a problem at Amazon and Google and other tech giants within the industry.The book mentions wonderful events like the Hackathon, but it is like reading about a feast we can only look at through a window. Contractors can't participate in the Hackathon. It's not that we don't have the coding chops, or lack ideas; it's that we literally do not have access to even sign up for the event. And I understand the reasons behind some of it - NDA agreements, possible access to secrets, leaks could occur. We aren't "real" employees of Microsoft, we just happen to work there doing full-time jobs without the full-time benefits... which only hurts more when all the blue badges go off for a week to create and share awesome prototypes while the rest of us do business as usual because we are still expected to hit our metrics.To give credit where it is due, being a contractor at Microsoft has improved since 2015, but it still has a long way to go. It is admirable that Mr. Nadella is looking ahead to building economic growth around the world, but perhaps he should look a little closer to home.
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  • Shaina Magat
    January 1, 1970
    Really loved the first half of this book. Overall information was really good but it got a little too technical and regulation based in the back half.
  • Du Nguyen
    January 1, 1970
    Why does Microsoft exist? And why do I exist in this new role? That was the questions Nadella asked of himself when he was offered and appointed as the CEO of Microsoft - only the third CEO in its 40-year history. Why am I writing this book is another question that I think Nadella should have asked himself.Hit Refresh is according to Nadella, not a biography, nor is it a book solely about himself. It's not really a book about technology although that does feature a lot. Nor is it a book about th Why does Microsoft exist? And why do I exist in this new role? That was the questions Nadella asked of himself when he was offered and appointed as the CEO of Microsoft - only the third CEO in its 40-year history. Why am I writing this book is another question that I think Nadella should have asked himself.Hit Refresh is according to Nadella, not a biography, nor is it a book solely about himself. It's not really a book about technology although that does feature a lot. Nor is it a book about the challenges of leading one of the most valuable companies in the world. In fact I find it very strange as a book. Nadella wanted this book to be about the transformations happening in him, Microsoft and technology and he half-manages to write about these subjects.The first few chapters are about him. His upbringing in India where he grew up loving cricket but finding a second love in computers. His move to the US where he worked his way up through Microsoft. And then about how he became a father to three children. It's a very broad picture of his life and clearly he didn't really want to go into details, preferring to skirt through formative years and only mentioning specific events that would portray him in the culture that he wants to bring to Microsoft.Transformations in Microsoft is also dealt with swiftly and superficially. He acknowledges how Microsoft lost its leadership and have to catch up. This part of the book is partly super interesting material about the inner workings of Microsoft and some of the executive decisions you rarely hear of and part of evangelizing the Microsoft mission. Nadella writes a lot about how he brought a culture change to Microsoft after his appointment as CEO and how quickly it turned around things.Lastly transformation in technology. Nadella switches to long term thinking and writes how Microsoft is focusing on three particular technologies: mixed reality, AI and quantum computing. This is the part of the book I found most interesting, simply because it seems to be more genuine that the rest of the book. Nadella is clearly passionate about the changes in technologies and how it will affect society. Overall the book is not really that bad. It's not really that good either. Why it was written, I have no idea. On some level, it seems like a way for Nadella to legitimize his position as CEO as he writes about how his life seemingly brought about the right kind of qualities needed to lead Microsoft. On another level it's a bit of a sales pitch, trying to convince the world that a new Microsoft is here. And for employees it seems like it's written to convince them of the culture which can sometimes be seen as corporate kool aid. I didn't enjoy the parts about his life as it didn't seem like he really wanted to tell the reader about it. The Microsoft politics and executive decisions are really interesting but again, it's very superficial, only mentioning negativity whenever it's something that posterity would agree with Nadella's view (as in the Nokia acquisition perhaps wasn't the best idea). The part I really liked was the forward-looking chapters. This is where Nadella is at his most lucid. In fact, writing an entire book about that would probably have been better than this book.I would recommend reading the last 4 four chapters and treating it like a really long read on Nadella's vision and thoughts about the future. For Nadella's life and career at Microsoft, hopefully he'll get down to really writing a tell-all biography when he at some point decides to retire.
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  • Scott Lerch
    January 1, 1970
    As a current Microsoft employee I now like Satya even more after reading his book: Hit Refresh. He comes across as more humble and thoughtful than any other current CEO in the tech sector, yet is just as driven and intelligent. I particularly like his mantra of having empathy for our customers and colleagues. Listen first and seek to understand before making any judgement, but be willing to challenge long held beliefs. Satya convinced me changing culture from the top-down and bottom-up is critic As a current Microsoft employee I now like Satya even more after reading his book: Hit Refresh. He comes across as more humble and thoughtful than any other current CEO in the tech sector, yet is just as driven and intelligent. I particularly like his mantra of having empathy for our customers and colleagues. Listen first and seek to understand before making any judgement, but be willing to challenge long held beliefs. Satya convinced me changing culture from the top-down and bottom-up is critical to Microsoft's future growth and success. Genius technical and strategic decisions from the top is not enough.Anecdotes about Satya's severely disabled son, mother and wife's sacrifices, and employees with disabilities really illustrated Satya has learned the importance of empathy. I was particularly struck by one anecdote when he first interviewed at Microsoft. He was asked "Imagine you see a baby laying in the street, and the baby is crying. What do you do?". As a young engineer without children he answered the question exactly as I would have 10 years ago: "You call 911". I love the interviewers response: "You need some empathy, man. If a baby is laying on the street crying, pick up the baby." This is a "yeah, duh!" moment where Satya started to learn the importance of empathy.On the literary side of things the book wasn't quite as strong. Some of the themes felt forced as he bluntly repeated certain phrases over and over from chapter to chapter without much finesse. Obviously, I'll cut him some slack as writing books isn't his full-time job and he's an engineer at heart (or at least a cricket player).His technical vision also worried me a bit due to lack of details and questionable insight when talking about the future of AI. I thought the three big bets of AI, mixed reality, and quantum were excellent choices but I would have liked more details. What the heck is "topological quantum computing"? It would have been nice to at least have some sort of high level overview or analogy instead of just throwing out a term I've never heard and say "Microsoft's doing this and it's going to be incredible, trust me!". I also thought his glossing over of the singularity was off when he described it as "the moment when computer intelligence will surpass human intelligence, [which] might occur by the year 2100". Um, almost all singularity proponents think it will almost certainly happen by 2100, the question is more will it happen by 2050. It then becomes a much more pressing issue, especially when it comes to jobs displacement which Satya covered extensively. Finally, this statement with no further explanation baffled me: "A worthy target for quantum will be advancing AI's ability to truly comprehend human speech and then accurately summarize it." I've never heard any credible AI researcher say quantum computing would be necessary, let alone useful, for doing such a task. As far we know the human brain doesn't use quantum computing and we can do that task just fine.Even with Satya's questionable understanding of what technological singularity proponents/alarmists like Ray Kurweil, Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking are saying, I really like his paraphrasing of Alan Kay that he believed we should "Stop predicting what the future will be like; instead, create it in a principled way." That's the most important sentiment and I suspect as AI advances even faster than Satya realizes he'll quickly adapt with his growth mindset. That combined with his empathy and belief that "We can't do business effectively in 190 countries unless we prioritize the creation of great local economic opportunity in each of those countries", I think Microsoft and the world will be just fine. Satya is a great CEO and he makes me proud to work for Microsoft.
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  • Graeme Roberts
    January 1, 1970
    In the first half, I despaired of any value in this book, though I did enjoy hearing about Mr. Nadella's youth in India, his family, and his love of cricket, which would endear him to anyone from the Commonwealth, including me. Like all companies that have owned a powerful franchise (DOS/Windows and Office) Microsoft had lagged in innovation, and come too late to the Web and mobile, and almost too late for the Cloud. This is central to the very nature of technology business, and not a failure of In the first half, I despaired of any value in this book, though I did enjoy hearing about Mr. Nadella's youth in India, his family, and his love of cricket, which would endear him to anyone from the Commonwealth, including me. Like all companies that have owned a powerful franchise (DOS/Windows and Office) Microsoft had lagged in innovation, and come too late to the Web and mobile, and almost too late for the Cloud. This is central to the very nature of technology business, and not a failure of management, in my opinion. I experienced, as an employee of Kodak, the political and technical difficulties of developing new business as your key technology (silver halide imaging in our case) gradually loses its monopoly. Political infighting often takes over, because new technologies often threaten the livelihood of existing employees and partners.My heart sank as Mr. Nadella began to spout chillingly familiar bullshit about the need for listening to customers and learning from them, employee empowerment, and empathy, culminating in a mission that was meant to excite the employees soon after his appointment: We exist to build products that empower others. Shit. And, of course, he then nobly emphasized diversity and inclusion, imperatives for political survival, if not success.Suddenly, the book changed. On page 119 he mentioned "rose petals in a field of shit," and we were off and running. He began talking in active terms about the need for leaders to generate energy and make things happen—to deliver success. He very quickly started to do things and all the sloganeering and empty words were left behind in a cloud of dust. He focused the company on the few businesses and technologies with the greatest potential for growth, and expanded Microsoft's partnering efforts, meeting with Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and fellow Indian, and building on his own intense business development background with Windows NT, the first of Microsoft's server products. Microsoft also acquired LinkedIn, finding that the two organizations shared many values and a commitment to honor, essential ingredients of trust. Nadella credits the economic success of the United States to innovation and the existence of the political and economic institutions that support business growth. He seems a deeply honorable man, highly intelligent and even scholarly, influenced profoundly by his late mother, who was a scholar of Sanskrit. The political and economic institutions of his native country are relatively weak (although rapidly improving) but his sense of honor, love of family, and fundamental decency that were formed there are central to his success in the United States.Satya Nadella described the painful process of setting new directions for the business, with strong emphasis on the Cloud, mobile, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing, but always centered on the fundamental needs of human beings. I bought some Microsoft stock not long after he was appointed, mostly just to keep track of him, and I am very glad that I did. I think that there is an excellent chance that the company will be great again under his leadership.I would suggest this book to investors, tech industry followers, and business historians. No one ever became a great leader by reading about it, but aspiring executives might get some ideas.
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  • Venky
    January 1, 1970
    Mixed Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing. These are the three most passionate exhortations one finds in "Hit Refresh" by Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft. An autobiography subtly disguised as an expression of the current cultural ethos prevailing inside the world's largest tech behemoth, "Hit Refresh" is an alarmingly thought provoking book. Emphasising his reluctance in writing a memoir ("I'll save that for my dotage"), Satya Nadella briefly traces his origins and adolesc Mixed Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing. These are the three most passionate exhortations one finds in "Hit Refresh" by Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft. An autobiography subtly disguised as an expression of the current cultural ethos prevailing inside the world's largest tech behemoth, "Hit Refresh" is an alarmingly thought provoking book. Emphasising his reluctance in writing a memoir ("I'll save that for my dotage"), Satya Nadella briefly traces his origins and adolescence spent primarily in the South Indian City of Hyderabad. The son of an Economist father (a believer in Marxism) and a scholarly mother, Nadella - as is invariably the case with a teeming multitude of Indians - was strongly addicted to the thralls and throes of cricket. Representing his school as an off spin bowler, Nadella egregiously confesses his adoration for M.L.Jaisimha, a former Indian batsman known for his languid grace and flamboyance, both on and off the pitch. The hustle and bustle of Hyderabad makes way for the serene environs of Redmond as Nadella leaves India at the age of twenty to chart his destiny in the United States of America. A move to Microsoft exposes him to the turbulence and tumult of the advancements in technology and he soon becomes absorbed, assimilated and seeped into the cauldron of innovation. "Hit Refresh" lends itself to impression at various levels. Citing his own personal experience, Nadella elucidates how technology can play a pivotal role in improving the quality of life. Zain, his first born was an unwilling victim of a complication at birth, which led to him suffering from Cerebral Palsy. However, exponential leaps in technology has ensured that even when wheelchair bound, Zain enjoys a quality of life that is refreshing, cheery and almost happily bespoke. Nadella expresses his beliefs, vision and hopes in an ingenious fashion by taking recourse to self devised equations. For e.g.(Education + Innovation) * Intensity of Tech Use = Economic Growth;E + SV +SR = T/t which translates to Empathy + Shared Values + Safety and Reliability = Trust over time.But the racy part of the book is reserved for what seems to be Nadella's three pet peeves - Mixed Reality; Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing. Conjuring heady possibilities if these three concepts that could have a profound influence on mankind in the future, Nadella left me reeling with exultation and fear! We are at a crossroad where paradigm shifts in technology assumes moralistic, ethical, social, scientific and cultural challenges that determine our very existence. Nadella without shying away from the hard and harsh facts pulls all punches to reassure us that when computer learning equals or even transcends human learning, we will come face to face with euphoria rather than calamity. He makes his point by choosing as his accomplices an eclectic mix of books and movies. Notable examples being "Machines of Loving Grace" by John Markoff, Rod Sterling's "The Twilight Zone"; "Westworld" starring Yul Brenner and Disney's "Big Hero 6".Quoting Goethe, Nadella writes "he who does not know foreign languages does not know anything about his own". We can safely say that by reading "Hit Refresh", one can certainly know that mankind now knows that there is still a lot more left to know!
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  • Pericles
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a Microsoft employee, but this opinion is my own. This book describes three topics, at a high level: - Satya Nadella's career and personal life: from a student in India to becoming the CEO of Microsoft, and everything in between, including his personal challenges- Microsoft's transformation under Satya's tenure- Industry trends, policies, regulations and how tech companies should enable people to become more productiveSatya's story is encouraging. This is the true story of someone who is tal I'm a Microsoft employee, but this opinion is my own. This book describes three topics, at a high level: - Satya Nadella's career and personal life: from a student in India to becoming the CEO of Microsoft, and everything in between, including his personal challenges- Microsoft's transformation under Satya's tenure- Industry trends, policies, regulations and how tech companies should enable people to become more productiveSatya's story is encouraging. This is the true story of someone who is talented, works very hard and gets to the top of one of the most influential companies of our times. He explains how his parents influenced him and how his passion for cricket helped shape his leadership style. Then he elaborates on his move to the United States and how none of this could have happened in case his wife (who was his girlfriend back then) did not get a visa. In fact, Satya went as far as giving up his green card to make this happen. I learned a lot from his examples and felt encouraged to take on challenges if that is what my heart tells me I need to do. On the Microsoft transformation, if you follow Microsoft (as an employee, enthusiast or any other role) it is super fun to see the internals on how the CEO search went from his point of view, and the inside stories on projects like HoloLens, Office for iOS, the quantum computer and others. Satya took a 180 degrees turn with the company focusing on a massive culture change that encourages us all to have more empathy, ask more questions and learn more (be a learn-it-all, not a know-it-all). He describes how partnerships with companies like Samsung, Adobe and Apple strengthened recently and gives the company a clear focus on three big technology trends: artificial intelligence, mixed reality and quantum computing. The last part of the book focuses on regulations and how our laws need to be modernized in a digital world. He cites how Microsoft Chief Legal Officer, Brad Smith, describes that laws that were written when a simple "adding machine" was available. The same way technology evolved, our laws need to respond to that evolution and it makes no sense to apply centuries-old laws on our current reality. We all need to care about public safety and security, but writing backdoors into software is like giving authorities a master key to all safes there were ever built. Satya gives guidelines on what those policies should look like and where to start. In summary, there's lots to learn from this book. I recommend it to anyone interested in the future of technology, in leadership, and to any Microsoft enthusiast.
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  • Frank
    January 1, 1970
    It is difficult capture how one speaks in one's writing. Satya, however, does exactly that; he has a distinct composure when he speaks in public; he does not rush over sentences, or become overtly enthusiastic with his facial expressions; he conveys his emotions through the eloquence of his speech to the way his eyes "light up" when he is talking about his passions. If you've ever heard any of Satya's speeches, you can literally hear his voice while reading "Hit Refresh". He writes with the same It is difficult capture how one speaks in one's writing. Satya, however, does exactly that; he has a distinct composure when he speaks in public; he does not rush over sentences, or become overtly enthusiastic with his facial expressions; he conveys his emotions through the eloquence of his speech to the way his eyes "light up" when he is talking about his passions. If you've ever heard any of Satya's speeches, you can literally hear his voice while reading "Hit Refresh". He writes with the same literal elegance as he talks, and his composure is expressed through his philosophical take on what it means to build an institution that lasts, to create a culture of empathy, and to persevere through the hardest times. A good leader draws not only from their own personal experience, but from the experiences of the greats who came before; Satya is standing on the shoulder of giants, from cricket players to German philosophers to Austrian poets to MIT professors. At the same time, he is a great expository writer, explaining the concepts of Distributed Systems and Quantum Computing so clearly that anyone with a basic understanding of English can comprehend. Lastly, Satya values empathy, and he makes an active effort to illustrate his point about empathy in leadership. One of his reasoning behind the new Microsoft mission statement is that Microsoft does not strive to be that "cool" company with brilliant people who are all geniuses, closed off from the world; rather, Microsoft wants to be the company that makes things to help other people make things and make things happen. G.K Chesterton once said, “There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great.”. Satya is the real great man.
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  • Vartika
    January 1, 1970
    A VERY long memo to Microsoft employees - I didn't get the sense that the book's purpose was anything more than explaining to the employees why Satya was a great CEO choice, how he is on top of knowing what will take Microsoft to the next level and how some of the initiatives he has taken since joining are all "first of its kind"/ "never heard of"/ "ones he has a knack for".I also didn't like the tone of superiority and 'look I have growth mindset, but I will still go ahead and proclaim this wil A VERY long memo to Microsoft employees - I didn't get the sense that the book's purpose was anything more than explaining to the employees why Satya was a great CEO choice, how he is on top of knowing what will take Microsoft to the next level and how some of the initiatives he has taken since joining are all "first of its kind"/ "never heard of"/ "ones he has a knack for".I also didn't like the tone of superiority and 'look I have growth mindset, but I will still go ahead and proclaim this will work and wow this is working' all along. A more humble, more vulnerable, more anecdotal, and more relevant to non MS folks narrative is what I kept missing all along this read..
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  • Arunothia Marappan
    January 1, 1970
    Satya's views on most things are very deep! He details his own personal evolution in an absolutely honest manner. I could connect with his emotions at many places and that made reading this book even more personal for me. And as a new hire at Microsoft, I found the book very informative and encouraging. I recommend it to all who want to be leaders in any technical field.
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  • Gautam.R
    January 1, 1970
    The book is about individual change, about the transformation happening inside Microsoft and It shows that being yourself, improving yourself by hitting the refresh button in your life would matter a lot.
  • Balakrishnan
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of the coolest understandable memoir of world’s large corporation in the context of yesteryears glory, mistakes and to the promising tech’s future! Satya’s continual reference to his personal diaries make you connect better and well, bunch of literary annotations are more of a billboard stuff. A fascinating read to sum up!
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  • Rajesh CNB
    January 1, 1970
    For the first time in 2016 Microsoft offered a free upgrade to Windows 10. That was surprising to me as I had never seen Microsoft offer anything for free. But at that time I didn't pay much attention to the fact and happily upgraded to Windows 10 and encouraged others to do so as well. I checked out the new Internet Explorer and Bing for a month before I decided to switch back to Google Chrome and Google search. I now realize that unwittingly, I was a part of the Microsoft's new campaign and I For the first time in 2016 Microsoft offered a free upgrade to Windows 10. That was surprising to me as I had never seen Microsoft offer anything for free. But at that time I didn't pay much attention to the fact and happily upgraded to Windows 10 and encouraged others to do so as well. I checked out the new Internet Explorer and Bing for a month before I decided to switch back to Google Chrome and Google search. I now realize that unwittingly, I was a part of the Microsoft's new campaign and I am not sad I was.What gripped me from the beginning of this book was the tone of honesty and integrity with which the transformation story of Microsoft was narrated. Satya Nadella is a candid writer and has a deep grasp of Microsoft and it's history. He brings forth the challenges facing Microsoft when he took over as the CEO and in a totally uncharacteristic and 'unMicrosoft' way he picks out Culture as the starting point of change. The people angle he brings out has deep set roots in his brought up and his own personal experience as a father, a husband and a son and above all a human being. All the while one can see the humanitarian working in the foreground with a hint of the technologist at the back ground.Don't mistake Satya as a humanist without a grasp on technology. As Satya outlines his personal challenges and how his specially abled Son was able to use Microsoft's technology to his advantage, you see how deeply Satya understand technology and it's utility in human transformation. Later on when he outlines Microsoft's strategic plan, he focuses on those areas where Human Computer Interactions are bringing about transforamtion. Satya has his eyes set out on AI, ML and the Cloud and he has taken strides to propel Microsoft to take concrete steps in that direction. These chapters read like a technologists vision while the humanitarian always remains in the background.From a managerial point of view, Satya, brilliantly outlines and weaves both his humane approach and his technological vision into a profitable business strategy that has propelled Microsoft into the frontlines in technology and is transforming it into a leader that it once was. In the process we discover some of the brilliant projects that weren't paid attention to earlier and the leading edge that Microsoft could get, if they begin using the same and weave into its strategic pattern.Finally, Satya talks about building sustainable business by helping both Private and Public Sector enterprises and Governments. His discussion on Privacy is deep and some of his solutions truly are a balance between legal requirements and user privacy. I am thrilled to know that Satya reads Science Fiction and there are many books we've read in common. Some of the ideas that he has enjoyed and thought possible were enjoyed by me too. It's a good book, although it gets into a skim read towards the end. Recommended for those who are interested to read business strategy, tech savvy enthusiasts and those who want to know where Microsoft is headed in the near future
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  • Ken Cyr
    January 1, 1970
    Full Disclosure - I'm currently a Microsoft employee, so I couldn't help but to read this book through the eyes of an insider. This definitely skews my perspective... it's a conscious bias that I have :) The overall idea of the book was good, and it was great to gain insight into the mind of my current employer's CEO. However, I'm split on my review of this book for a few reasons. First, there is a lot in here that I completely agree with - particularly Satya's musings on leadership, security an Full Disclosure - I'm currently a Microsoft employee, so I couldn't help but to read this book through the eyes of an insider. This definitely skews my perspective... it's a conscious bias that I have :) The overall idea of the book was good, and it was great to gain insight into the mind of my current employer's CEO. However, I'm split on my review of this book for a few reasons. First, there is a lot in here that I completely agree with - particularly Satya's musings on leadership, security and privacy, and the 3 coming shifts of technology; mixed reality, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing. From a technology and culture perspective, this book provided some great insight for me as a Microsoft employee, into the motives that led our company's transformation over the past 3 years. All good stuff. However, there were also many aspects of Satya's philosophies that I have a really tough time agreeing with, which I won't go into here.The second reason that I gave this book a mixed review is because many parts of it felt more like an extended employee memo cheering technology companies into the future. It was filled with a lot of things that I would expect a CEO to say, but I was hoping for more real down-to-earth dialog throughout the book.Finally, the book gave some great personal glimpses into Satya's life, but I really wish there was more. Most of his biographical information was about how he grew up in India and landed in America working for Microsoft. However, I would have liked to have heard more about his family, and the challenges that he has faced and overcome with his children's disabilities in particular. I know that it's not the purpose of the book - but it obviously greatly shaped Satya's character, so I think it would have been very beneficial to get more of that. Also, it would have made Satya more relatable throughout the book and would have given it less of a "corporate" feel.Overall, I would still recommend that most people read "Hit Refresh" - particularly those in the technology sector and public sector. Even if you don't agree with everything, the questions that Satya poses are worth asking and worth debating.
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  • Bharat
    January 1, 1970
    Offers insights into the rise of Nadella and how he incorporated the lessons learned from his childrens' difficulties as he rose ladders in Microsoft along with his wife Anu. First half is easily the best part of the book and in the second half Nadella delves more into his vision, revamping process in Microsoft post Gates and Ballmer era. Throughout the book Microsoft's sheer internal operation machinery, peek into various departmental heads who run Microsoft and interesting quotes that are disp Offers insights into the rise of Nadella and how he incorporated the lessons learned from his childrens' difficulties as he rose ladders in Microsoft along with his wife Anu. First half is easily the best part of the book and in the second half Nadella delves more into his vision, revamping process in Microsoft post Gates and Ballmer era. Throughout the book Microsoft's sheer internal operation machinery, peek into various departmental heads who run Microsoft and interesting quotes that are dispersed throughout, giving a glimpse on how well read is Nadella in real life. You will end up with a sense of massive respect for Nadella who rose to such levels despite the difficulties he had to face.
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  • Ahmad
    January 1, 1970
    A book by one the C.E.O. of a top company out at a right time. Get this book if you want to know:- what changes were initiated by Staya in Microsoft, especially culturally- questions that C.E.O.s of such companies should ask themselves and responsibilities they carry towards not just their employees, shareholders , but humanity, as a whole- know a little bit of Satya's own personal life and challenges (and we thought only our lives are difficult and C.E.O.s must be immune)- and much more.Some of A book by one the C.E.O. of a top company out at a right time. Get this book if you want to know:- what changes were initiated by Staya in Microsoft, especially culturally- questions that C.E.O.s of such companies should ask themselves and responsibilities they carry towards not just their employees, shareholders , but humanity, as a whole- know a little bit of Satya's own personal life and challenges (and we thought only our lives are difficult and C.E.O.s must be immune)- and much more.Some of the content becomes a little repetitive, but at times it makes sense.
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  • Benjamin C Drake
    January 1, 1970
    As a Microsoft employee and a user and curator of technology, I read this book to get a picture of what one CEO has to say about innovation, leadership, and change. The book provides some excellent historical context and narrative to help explain why certain decisions were made or why things played out the way they did as well as paint the picture of what, how, and why Microsoft is investing and embracing change (in technologies and mindsets alike).
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  • Dan Francis
    January 1, 1970
    Great insights into the new new Microsoft and the direction they are heading. It is interesting how Buddhist teachings like impermanence and empathy can blend with being the CEO of one of the worlds largest companies.
  • Arthur
    January 1, 1970
    Mostly fluff. Cowritten with two people, one of whom is his PR person https://www.linkedin.com/in/jill-trac... Contains a surprising and almost worrying amount of bureaucratic HR platitudes. I was hoping for more concrete descriptions of Microsoft strategy.
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  • Patrick Pilz
    January 1, 1970
    If you work, as I do, somewhere in the Microsoft eco-system, you need to read this book. This book stays at the surface of Microsoft, of Satya Nadella and on Technology. It is written like a Manifesto for employees and partners on the direction Microsoft is talking, nothing more, nothing less.It does not have much generic to learn from, that is why I discounted two stars. Also, the book clocks net in at around 200 pages, before notes and further reading and stuff. So it is very very light.
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  • Rahul Yadav
    January 1, 1970
    Hit Refresh is a memoir by current CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella where he shares his past life growing up experiences in India and the lessons he learned throughout his career. In this book, the author is trying to show that how he is trying to change the culture inside the Microsoft as an organization to drive value to the consumers. He touched upon different scenarios ranging from privacy issue to regulatory requirement required in could service to justify his decision to push the cultural i Hit Refresh is a memoir by current CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella where he shares his past life growing up experiences in India and the lessons he learned throughout his career. In this book, the author is trying to show that how he is trying to change the culture inside the Microsoft as an organization to drive value to the consumers. He touched upon different scenarios ranging from privacy issue to regulatory requirement required in could service to justify his decision to push the cultural issue inside Microsoft.The author touch upon three technologies: Artifical Intelligence, Mixed reality, and Quantum computing. He described various Microsoft efforts to develop these futuristic technologies and there use in solving the world biggest issue. He talks a lot about the Artificial Intelligence and its use to change the perception of the world. He put forward his framework to adopt this technology and regulate it by the government to use these for the greater good in future and change consumers perception regarding adverse effects of this technology.The author immensely focussed on using the internal organization's culture as a tool to make an impact on the world. Initially, he has included the issue and scenario which lead him to believe that culture is the place where he can most significantly impact as a current CEO to drive Value for internal and External customers. He has described his policy changes and the new initiative to influence Microsoft culture to drive innovation and change perception for his employees. Overall this book is about current Microsoft strategy and their futuristic goals. One of the new learning for a lot of people will be the ongoing development of advanced technology in the field of computer science and cloud computing. But it seems that Microsoft is trying to change public perception regarding it organization which might help them in future. You as a reader can pick the useful knowledge and leave the rest of the things.
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  • Niti Gupta
    January 1, 1970
    One of the best and fastest read books for this year. The book starts with Satya's personal journey and then slowly becomes journey of transformation that Microsoft has been under Satya's leadership. There are three reasons why I particularly loved it: 1) This is the first book on Microsoft per say. It opened up the culture and transformation that Microsoft is going through and will be going through under Satya's leadership. It showcases impact of Microsoft in everyday lives and more so for the One of the best and fastest read books for this year. The book starts with Satya's personal journey and then slowly becomes journey of transformation that Microsoft has been under Satya's leadership. There are three reasons why I particularly loved it: 1) This is the first book on Microsoft per say. It opened up the culture and transformation that Microsoft is going through and will be going through under Satya's leadership. It showcases impact of Microsoft in everyday lives and more so for the good of the society. For anybody who is interested in the firm and excited about technology industry, the last few chapters on AI and how to work well with companies who would potentially be competitors definitely gives an idea on where the firm is headed. 2) To know about someone's leadership style starts by knowing how he grew up, choices he made throughout their professional and personal lives. His story growing up in India, passion for cricket, passion for computer science and then struggle with kids, results in an empathetic and a very positive ('can do' attitude) leader. It also gave me a hope that even if you do not start a firm you can take it to places, lead it and transform it and impact society in such a positive way. He is the only third CEO (after Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer) in 40+ years of Microsoft (which makes me realize that how difficult it would be for Microsoft to look for the right guy and how Satya is a great fit. 3) I always feel that biography books like Elon Musk, The Everything's store, Steve Jobs - are great books about the organizations and their founders but it is still a second hand view. Since Satya has written the book himself before he is indeed taking you and giving you a first hand view of the organization.
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  • Ryan Sloan
    January 1, 1970
    I am not sure how to review this book. It was a pleasant read, but it wasn't the book I was expecting.I worked at Microsoft for a few years before Satya Nadella was appointed CEO to replace Steve Ballmer, and for a little while after he took the reins. Before he became CEO he was well-known in his role leading Cloud and Enterprise, and I always appreciated his thoughtfulness and intelligence. When the CEO announcement was made, I was excited. I identified with Satya more than I did with Steve, a I am not sure how to review this book. It was a pleasant read, but it wasn't the book I was expecting.I worked at Microsoft for a few years before Satya Nadella was appointed CEO to replace Steve Ballmer, and for a little while after he took the reins. Before he became CEO he was well-known in his role leading Cloud and Enterprise, and I always appreciated his thoughtfulness and intelligence. When the CEO announcement was made, I was excited. I identified with Satya more than I did with Steve, and I thought his background in cloud services would help position the company for the future. The book I was expecting (based on the title and the marketing) was a book focused on the internals of his work to change Microsoft, presumably transitioning to business/leadership principles. I essentially expected something along the lines of American Icon about Alan Mullaly's work at Ford. That is not what this book was at all.It's hard to say what this book is about - it doesn't have a thesis or theme, really. Nadella starts with stories about his personal challenges (a side of him that I think many of us at Microsoft didn't know about), spends some time talking about the process of changing Microsoft, then the book transitions into a series of meditations on the future of technology (namely AI, quantum computing, and mixed reality), and ends with a chapter on how technology can be used to drive global economic growth and opportunity.But, I enjoyed reading it. The book felt like spending a long afternoon with Nadella, picking his brain on a variety of issues. I disagreed with him on plenty of things (particularly some of his views on multinational corporations having the "job" of driving global equality and opportunity, principles that make for good leadership, but this idea of benevolent capitalism makes me a bit queasy), but there's no doubt he's intelligent, empathetic, and visionary. Many of the things I believed about him when I was at Microsoft were reaffirmed by this book, and I still believe Microsoft is in good hands.I'd recommend it to anyone "Microsoft-adjacent" - if you've worked at the company, for a partner company, or as a competitor to Microsoft then you'll probably enjoy this book.
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  • John
    January 1, 1970
    I found Satya to be an articulate proponent of the role of the CEO as the Chief Culture Officer. He is working hard to flip the culture of Microsoft to one of shared collaboration rather than internally competitive groups. He wants to again reward innovation and risk taking. He also wants to look for opportunities for mutual collaboration with marketplace competitors. A defining moment for Satya was when, at a Microsoft conference, he pulled an iPhone out of his pocket.He wrote the book without I found Satya to be an articulate proponent of the role of the CEO as the Chief Culture Officer. He is working hard to flip the culture of Microsoft to one of shared collaboration rather than internally competitive groups. He wants to again reward innovation and risk taking. He also wants to look for opportunities for mutual collaboration with marketplace competitors. A defining moment for Satya was when, at a Microsoft conference, he pulled an iPhone out of his pocket.He wrote the book without being negative at all about his predecessors. Instead he celebrated the contributions and strengths of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.The last few chapters are about where he sees IT going especially in terms of cloud computing, AI, and quantum computing. His thoughts on AI and defining ethical standards for AI were interesting. He also wrote at length about the duty of an organization like Microsoft to be a good corporate citizen.He sounds to me as the right man at the right time. His strategic thinking alone, is cause for Microsoft to celebrate their newest leader. When you wonder why CEO's can get paid so much, you need look no further than the effect his elevation has had on the market value of Microsoft.
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  • Igor Celik
    January 1, 1970
    This book mainly comprised of two parts:1. The quest for cultural transformation. The quest and its causes can't be explained without exploring Satya's background and his personal experiences from early childhood in India, his parents contradicting views, love for cricket, the immigration to US, taking care of his son and rising the company ranks. I liked this part the most, because in my opinion it had the most soul as the technology and the Satya's personal experiences were more intertwin This book mainly comprised of two parts:1. The quest for cultural transformation. The quest and its causes can't be explained without exploring Satya's background and his personal experiences from early childhood in India, his parents contradicting views, love for cricket, the immigration to US, taking care of his son and rising the company ranks. I liked this part the most, because in my opinion it had the most soul as the technology and the Satya's personal experiences were more intertwined. 2. Disruptive technology - today and beyond. This is a Satya's and consequently Microsoft view on AI, Quantum computing, Mixed reality and the advancement of technology in general, presenting benefits and addressing concerns.If you wondered what are the motives behind some of Microsoft recent and not so much moves, like LinkdIn and Minecraft acquisition, falling in love with Linux, settling patent disputes out of the court embracing diversity and inclusion - you should definitely read this book.IMO this book is an attempt to accelerate the cultural transformation by creating a dialog amongst employees, and eventually, cause a positive resonance amongst partners and customers.
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  • Manuel Mathew
    January 1, 1970
    Hit Refresh is more than 'a memoir of another CEO'. At the core, it is the step-by-step reiteration of a process that Microsoft underwent. But, it is more than that.The book was surprisingly philosophical. While the book shines light on the process of recommitting the tech-giant back to its initial objectives, it also challenges the readers to rediscover their true purpose in life and recommit themselves to it. And for those who are willing to observe, it underlines some key guidelines to embrac Hit Refresh is more than 'a memoir of another CEO'. At the core, it is the step-by-step reiteration of a process that Microsoft underwent. But, it is more than that.The book was surprisingly philosophical. While the book shines light on the process of recommitting the tech-giant back to its initial objectives, it also challenges the readers to rediscover their true purpose in life and recommit themselves to it. And for those who are willing to observe, it underlines some key guidelines to embrace the same process in their lives.The technical side of the book explains various concepts that may/may not be familiar to the world. It also ventures in to the future of technology and helps us with a clear vision of how an ideal future could become a reality.While I agree with Nadella on all fronts, I am yet to be fully convinced by his take on AI and ambient intelligence. While there always had been people who misuse technology, if misused, AI could prove to be the worst case of privacy infringement.In short, it is a must-read for anyone who is even remotely related to technology and a good read for anyone who's interested in tech.
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  • Gideon
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting pieces to this book but was not really sure what it was aiming to achieve. It is not really a biography. He touches his own story very lightly which is a pity since I would have loved to have known more about him and what got him to where he is now. Instead it is more about a combination of anecdotes on his experience leading Microsoft for three years combined with some insights on the future of technology and what it will hold.On the first count I think it was too premarture to writ Interesting pieces to this book but was not really sure what it was aiming to achieve. It is not really a biography. He touches his own story very lightly which is a pity since I would have loved to have known more about him and what got him to where he is now. Instead it is more about a combination of anecdotes on his experience leading Microsoft for three years combined with some insights on the future of technology and what it will hold.On the first count I think it was too premarture to write the book - he still has a lot to achieve I am sure. He very obviously admires his own company and heaps a lot of praise on it. Unfortunately it eventually starts sounding like too much Microsoft PR. It would have been interesting if he was prepared to critique the company he took over but he is very reticent to criticize either of his predecessors. His insights on future technology trends is fascinating but then he intertwines it so much with what MS is doing in these areas, it again starts sounding like scripted PR. I truly believe that Satya Nadella will one day have many amazing stories to tell - my suggestion would be to wait for that book or books.
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  • Gus
    January 1, 1970
    The book has roughly two parts, both are easy to read, the latter one drier than the former one. The first part is mostly autobiographical and is a good opportunity to learn more about Satya’s journey from a privileged environment in India to becoming the CEO of Microsoft. Satya used those chapters to explain the lessons he learned along the way and the values that he is now trying to infuse in the company’s culture (empathy, growth mindset, humility). The second part of the book were his reflec The book has roughly two parts, both are easy to read, the latter one drier than the former one. The first part is mostly autobiographical and is a good opportunity to learn more about Satya’s journey from a privileged environment in India to becoming the CEO of Microsoft. Satya used those chapters to explain the lessons he learned along the way and the values that he is now trying to infuse in the company’s culture (empathy, growth mindset, humility). The second part of the book were his reflections and speculations on three areas he believes will be shaping world economies in the next few decades, and that Microsoft has significant investments in: AI, mixed reality and quantum computing. Working in the software industry means that you must always keep learning to keep your skills relevant. While I didn’t really understand much of what he said quantum computing is other than that it is decades away from being a reality (and that I would need much better passwords when it does), reading those chapters motivated me to seek projects related to AI applications. It is more ‘science’ and less ‘fiction’ at this point.
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  • Mike
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a Microsoft employee and I was given an annotated copy of the book to read. I have been at Microsoft long enough to watch Steve Ballmer bas the baton to Satya Nadella. It's been very fascinating to watch, and this book reveals more about the man and Microsoft's journey over under Satya's early tenure. Shortly after Staya assentation to the CEO position, I was watching a live stream where he was addressing some MS employees, and he was saying we should all take pride in our work. If we're wor I'm a Microsoft employee and I was given an annotated copy of the book to read. I have been at Microsoft long enough to watch Steve Ballmer bas the baton to Satya Nadella. It's been very fascinating to watch, and this book reveals more about the man and Microsoft's journey over under Satya's early tenure. Shortly after Staya assentation to the CEO position, I was watching a live stream where he was addressing some MS employees, and he was saying we should all take pride in our work. If we're working on an application and it doesn't provide an excellent user experience "how can you live with yourself man?" What a great thing to say, but the passionate way he expressed it was inspiring.In addition to learning more about the man and the direction Microsoft is going in the future, I enjoyed Satya's view of the future of the world under the current digital revolution. I read a great book, The Second Machine Age, which discusses how the digital revolution has changed world economics since the year 2000, and warns that some people are being left behind. I was gratified to know that Satya recognizes these issues and feels an empathy for all people in the world.
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