Hit Refresh: An eclectic mix of three paradigms – Humans, Technology and the change in Interface


This is one of the most prominent tech tales of the era, told by Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft – one of world’s largest tech companies. The book is a successful attempt by the Microsoft CEO to bring the company closer to the hearts of the people. It highlights how it is going to change their lives for the better. It is an eclectic mix of three paradigms- humans, technology and the change in interface.

While explaining about mixed reality, artificial intelligence and quantum computing, Satya says, “Originally, I thought of this book as a collection of meditations from a CEO in the midst of transformation. As someone both navigating a corporate transformation and creating transformational technologies, my aim was to share these experiences in real time rather than look back on them years later. The Microsoft’s transformation of course is ongoing. In the face of the global economic and technological uncertainty, we reset our mission, reprioritise our culture, and (have) built or rebuilt strategic partnerships in order to solidify the foundation of our business. We also needed to hasten our innovative spirit and place new, bold bets. This is what has made Microsoft a trusted tech brand for more than forty years.”

The book deals with lots of technology but has human leadership lessons for all of us in the corporate world. It brings together the mysticism of modern technology and ties it to the thread of empathy.

The journey begins with Satya as a young bright boy from India, whose life is all about playing cricket and loving to code. Things change for him when he is unable to qualify for IIT. He survives the failure due to the lessons he has learnt from playing cricket.
He explains in the book his personal quest for education that had brought him to the US for his masters’ degree and landed him in the Silicon Valley. And how, due to the H1-B visa chaos, his married life was impacted.

Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft and author of Hit Refresh

Satya says his entire change in life’s perspective and priorities happened when he had to take care of his two special-needs children. He brought his EQ (emotional quotient) to match his IQ (intelligence quotient), to understand the human lives better, and beyond the boundaries of digital binary code built around digits zero and one.

Satya gives lots of importance to innovation throughout the book. He recognises that to succeed in today’s competitive era, the rivals need to build fostering partnerships for the greater good, else, survival of everyone is going to be difficult. In the chapter titled ‘Friends or Frenemies,’ he supports this with Microsoft cases like partnership with open source Linux, collaboration with Apple to introduce Microsoft applications on Mac, and many more.
In the last chapter, ‘Restoring Economic Growth For Everyone,’ Satya gives the world the formula for economic growth.

Satya emphasizes that, in the digital age, software is the king. He brings into limelight the apprehensions regarding the advent and adaptation of artificial intelligence. Clarifying that, in the future, machines would take up the highly intelligent computing and mechanical tasks, leaving space for humans to be more humane and focus on activities that are core to our nature, and evolve. Further, artificial intelligence will empower us to develop the next wave of tech, which is beyond the current data trend.

—Nidhi Arora, executive editor, EFY