Satya Nadella built success on learning from failures, he tells young entrepreneurs in India

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has brought a new vibe to Microsoft since taking over from Steve Ballmer. Certainly, the company’s “cloud-first, mobile-first” and productivity strategies went into overdrive when he took over the reins, and the company simply seems more calm and contemplative. By some measures, at least.

During a visit to his hometown, Hyderabad, Nadella sat down with young entrepreneurs building out startups in India and imparted some of the wisdom that’s enabled him to steer such a huge organization down some very different channels. It’s all about failure, but not in the typically oversimplified “you have to fail to succeed” meme. As the Times of India reports:

“It’s not about the failure; it’s about learning from the failures. Failure itself cannot be celebrated. When I think about my career, my successes are built on learning from failures,” he said when a youngster asked him about how to deal with failure.

He went on to highlight some specific points to help provide some additional direction:

He advised startups to keep three important points in mind – to not lose out on the concept that drives them, capability that you need to build to chase after that concept, have that persistence and to curate the culture they drive in their organisation on a constant basis.

Nadella also highlighted Microsoft’s commitment to helping the nation’s T-Hub tech incubator succeed:

“We are here to be a part of your success, with our accelerators where we aim to work with T-Hub. But most of all, I’m here to be inspired by your dreams,” he said.

Microsoft made some significant strides in 2015 to position itself more intelligently for a future where the company’s Windows and Office hegemony is no longer a guarantee of success. Much of that has to do with Nadella’s ability to change the company’s culture, and we enjoy hearing from the man himself to better understand his thinking. As we look forward to 2016, knowing how Nadella thinks goes a long way toward understanding what Microsoft might do in the future.

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