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Hit Refresh

Video Length 3:33

Who Should Read It

People who are interested in Satya Nadella, Microsoft, cloud, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing.

Why Should We Read It

Microsoft stock price has tripled since Mr. Nadella became the CEO. Mr. Nadella will share his visions and strategies in this book.

What Will We Learn

We will learn more about Mr. Nadella's personal experience and how it impacts his vision for Microsoft.

Book Summary

"Hit Refresh...is a channel through which Mr. Nadella shares his vision for Microsoft’s future and its role in addressing societal problems."

Hit Refresh is current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's 2017 memoir chronicling his personal journey in transforming Microsoft from a PC software-focused company to a major player in cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and personal productivity. It might seem surprising that Mr. Nadella published an autobiography after only 3 years in the CEO position. Steve Jobs didn’t authorize his biography until 2009, over 12 years after he returned to Apple. Louis V. Gerstner Jr. didn’t publish his memoir until he left IBM in 2002, almost 10 years after he joined IBM. And to date, Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, has neither written nor authorized any story about himself. However, Hit Refresh is not a conventional memoir. Rather, it is a channel through which Mr. Nadella shares his vision for Microsoft’s future and its role in addressing societal problems.

"Mr. Nadella's spirit of empathy has produced novel technologies for individuals with special needs, and that same empathy is now part of Microsoft's DNA in its daily drive to learn and predict the needs of Microsoft's commercial clients and business partners."

Mr. Nadella shares only a handful of personal experiences, the most salient being that of his eldest son, Zain. Zain is paralyzed and visually impaired due to an accident in utero, and Mr. Nadella attributes his strong emphasis on the user experience to this unusual life event. As CEO, his annual hackathons have enabled students with dyslexia to quadruple their reading speed with a Microsoft dyslexia-specific grammar app. Steven Gleason, a former NFL player whose cerebral palsy has confined him to a wheelchair, can now control Microsoft computers with movements of his eyes. Mr. Nadella's spirit of empathy has produced novel technologies for individuals with special needs, and that same empathy is now part of Microsoft's DNA in its daily drive to learn and predict the needs of Microsoft's commercial clients and business partners.

"Mr. Nadella...wants Microsoft to leverage its cutting-edge technology to ignite national economies."

Mr. Nadella does not limit Microsoft's attention to just the challenges of the individual person, and wants Microsoft to leverage its cutting-edge technology to ignite national economies. He cites the African country of Malawi as a perfect case study. Malawi used to be one of the poorest countries in the world, with 80% of its population having zero access to formal banking institutions. Since its rapid adoption of cell phones in 2006, the penetration of mobile banking in Malawi now exceeds that of many developed countries. Microsoft is already systematically democratizing its cloud, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing technologies, and we can anticipate that it will transform how an entire continent manages its livestock, water resources, and planting strategies.

"...Hit Refresh is Mr. Nadella's invitation to build the future with Microsoft."

At its core, Hit Refresh is Mr. Nadella's invitation to build the future with Microsoft. To build his case, he weaves the lessons of his personal life into his vision for Microsoft and future policy recommendations. In this journey, we learn that Mr. Nadella's personal empathy is what guides his effective thought leadership. Most of all, we are reminded that technology can and should benefit society as a whole.

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