Hit Refresh

Razroo Book Club - Intersection of Software + Business

Charlie Greenman
October 05, 2020
4 min read

Why Read it?

Hit Refresh is an insider look as to what it is like to be the CEO of one of the world's largest tech companies. It's surprisingly less information-heavy than I thought it was, which is actually why I would recommend reading it. I would recommend reading the book for the personal traits it preaches and clearly displays.

Satya through and throughout the book display empathy, and a lack of ego. In addition, patience, and how thinking can win. He has obviously gone through some personal struggles and is in a unique situation, wherein he is a 3rd generation CEO of a tech company. The furthest along, more so than Google, Apple, and Facebook. It's interesting to see how he takes a step back, assesses the situation, and executes. Also, how much he has thought about Microsoft from an outsiders view, and life. Something he has had the unique ability to do granted the situation.

Oversimplified Synopsis

Satya first goes through how he got to where he is today. This includes his growing up in Hyberbad, India which is interesting, A little bit of history of his time at Microsoft as a non-CEO. I found his finishing his MBA interesting without telling Microsoft. The immense transition he started at Microsoft which was done by embracing teamwork, both in an out of the company. In addition, you get a little bit of insight into the way he thinks, how he operates, and the tremendous EQ that he displays. That would be the oversimplified synopsis.

Interesting Points

Four interesting points

Growth Mindset

A common theme throughout the book, and most likely in his life is the Growth Mindset. Originally an idea borrowed from Dr Dweck it simply means believing you can overcome an obstacle that you have. It's the cornerstone of what he is trying to accomplish at Microsoft.

Coexist While Competing

For instance, instead of looking at Apple as the enemy, Microsoft started offering Office suite products on the Mac. Apple benefited by more people seeing the value in buying a Mac. This sort of ties into the Growth Mindset believing that unless it is direct competition across all axes, new opportunities will arrive in other areas.

Find Your Purpose

I found it very interesting how Satya was sort of wandering around as CEO for quite some time wondering, "What do I stand for? What does Microsoft stand for?" He obviously felt that integrating the company with not only purpose, but something deeply personal would bring value not only for Microsoft, but himself. Something that someone with empathy needs to do, for the sake of one's own sanity.

Quantum Computing, AR, and AI

It's interesting to see Satya lay out the future. This includes Quantum Computing, AR, and his vision for AI. It's also interesting to see his approach towards video games, and how it's a way of tapping into the younger generation. It definitely makes you feel like the future is very bright, but at the same time being left behind and not being able to solve the world's brightest and best ideas.

Would I Read It Knowing What I now know?

Simply yes.

  1. I increased my emotional quotient.
  2. An insight into the future.
  3. An interesting look into India's tech scene,
  4. The importance of teamwork, and a productive outlook towards competition.
  5. A reminder on the growth mindset.

That being said, I do not think I will pick this title up again in three years, maybe in 20. It is uniquely worth it for the time we are living in now.

Next Week's Book

Next week's book will be Managing the Unmanageable by Mickey W. Mantle and Ron Lichty. It's a behemoth, and from my understanding used as a textbook in management/business classes. Due to it's size, we are going to spread this one over two weeks, and dig in deeper into the content, being that it is so content rich.

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