The first ‘business’ book I read was ‘The Road Ahead’ by Bill Gates. I was in school, and happy with fiction, encyclopedias, and an occasional biography. But Windows and Microsoft fascinated me during those days (still do!), and I picked up the book to read about Bill Gates’ vision of a personal computer on every desk and in every home.
Published in November 1995, and written in a personal tone with no technical jargon, the book talked about the personal computing revolution that was brewing at the time and envisaged an ‘information superhighway’ for the future.
While Bill’s vision for personal computing became a reality, the world of technology – both for consumers and businesses – has changed since Bill Gates moved on from Microsoft. Satya Nadella’s book, which released today, talks about Microsoft’s transformation, and how the tech industry at large is changing to disrupt the status quo.
Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone, published by HarperCollins Publishers, is about individual change, about the transformation happening inside of Microsoft, and the technology that will soon impact all of our lives.
Satya traces his journey from India to the US, tells the inside story of Microsoft’s revival, and shares his vision of the most exciting and disruptive wave of technology - artificial intelligence, mixed reality, and quantum computing. Satya also explores the potential impact of the technology to society and delivers a call to action for world leaders.
At the core, Hit Refresh, is about us humans and the unique quality we call empathy, which will become ever more valuable in a world where the torrent of technology will disrupt the status quo like never before.
– Satya Nadella from Hit Refresh
According to Satya, Hit Refresh isn’t a victory lap or a how-to manual, since that would be premature. It’s a set of reflections, ideas, and principles on transformation.
The book has a foreword by none other than Bill Gates himself. In his blog post about Hit Refresh, Bill notes that he has benefitted from Satya’s insights for decades, and he’s glad everyone else will now have the same opportunity to learn from him.
Here’s the complete text of the foreword by Bill Gates.
Satya has charted a course for making the most of the opportunities created by technology while also facing up to the hard questions.
- Bill Gates
It has been shared that Satya Nadella will donate all of his proceeds from Hit Refresh to Microsoft Philanthropies.
Interestingly, there’s also special Employee Edition of Hit Refresh for Microsoft employees. It comes with annotations by Satya himself.
— Rajat Agrawal (@rajatagr) September 26, 2017
Here’s some suggested reading around Hit Refresh:
- A rare joint interview with Satya Nadella and Bill Gates on Wall Street Journal
- Bill Gates about Hit Refresh
- Satya Nadella on writing Hit Refresh
- A conversation with Satya Nadella about his new book by Tim O’Reilly
- Watch: A conversation between Walter Isaacson and Satya Nadella
- Book review by Todd Bishop, GeekWire
- Book review by long-time Microsoft watcher, Mary Jo Foley, ZDNet
Satya wants the book to inspire people to discover more empathy in their own lives. He hopes that it’ll start important conversations and spark new ideas, and that others will share their own hit refresh moments.