Book Review: Hit Refresh

The primary author of “Hit refresh” is Microsoft’s current CEO – Satya Nadella, and he co-authored it with Mr Thesaurus himself! 😊

As you are familiar with my posts, I try to keep it casual here. This is my blog. If you are looking for a more serious review, you are free to go to Goodreads. πŸ™‚

With the title “Hit refresh”, The first thing that came to my mind, was that mouse-action that you tend to do when you are staring at your desktop and conversing with someone. You right-click, and then you HIT REFRESH!! However, the book is not about that and not even the Windows OS. Hitting refresh, apparently, has deep philosophical meaning to Satya’s life and this book is about that.

In its entirety, the book is Satya’s elongated resume. That, plus the Microsoft manifesto, if it were to contest an election sometime in future. Additionally, the book covers profound vision and mission statements related to technology they are working on. In fact, if you are not familiar with phrases such as “quantum computing”, “distributed cloud environment” and “Intelligent automation”; you can skip a few chapters right till the end.

Fortunately enough, I was familiar with what those and I enjoyed reading it and loved the book.

Let me cover a few topics which resonated well with me.

  1. Satya repeatedly refers to Cricket for various analogies and even dedicates a chapter for this great game. Evidently, he loves Cricket more than any CEO, including the CEOs of India Inc. In my opinion, this could be one of the best tribute for any off-spinner, ever. Pont to be noted that all our mainstream biopics are reserved for pacers and batsmen, never an off-spinner.  There will be one each for Muthiah Muralidharan or Kapil Dev, but there never will be one for Venkatapati Raju.
  2. Satya takes two pills as soon as he gets up. “Empathy” for blue and “Trust” for red. He is a big fan of them, and He makes this abundantly clear, often repeatedly. He is 100% right on that, and I could not agree more. We will discuss Empathy (not Sympathy) on some other day.

One of the critical socio-political topic Satya covered in the book was on “privacy vs security”. Among the many examples, the one such discussed in details was about the FBI’s ask on apple to crack open operating system of a phone confiscated from a terrorist. As per Satya, the entire silicon valley stood behind Apple Computers, which unsurprisingly, had refused the FBI’s ask to create a backdoor entry to iOS. Very unprecedented situation and was keen to learn how a competitor’s stand on this decision. Unfortunately, Satya leaves a politically correct chapter

Full disclosure: I am and always have been a big fan of Microsoft when compared with Linux etc. This was, obviously a minority opinion during my graduation days. Dispising MSWindows was the core-principles of the engineering college version of socialism. Somehow, it was a fashion to evangelize Linux, and campaign against Windows XP even if it was pirated licence. Yes, it’s the same Linux which warranted a complete reinstallation with every abrupt power-cut! And of course, it used to take all your data with it. In comparison, Windows XP never failed me for more than a decade.

I am not a gamer anymore, but when I was, they were MS games I was a fan of. Minesweeper and age of empires. Absolute gems. I wish he had covered them.

Anyways, this was my best minesweeper score. Let me know if you’d beaten me anytime in the past.

P.S. This is book 49 of 52 of 2020 reading challenge πŸ™‚

17 thoughts on “Book Review: Hit Refresh

  1. I will definitely check this book out. I’m interested in what path technology takes us down. I did a review of “The Social Dilemma” on my blog and I bet the security vs privacy chapter hits on the very thing that documentary was talking about. Great review!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you, I am really into nonfiction inspiring books nowadays, this seems perfect. I hope there are fewer cricket analogies as I am not a big fan. Also, “Design thinking” has become a big hit, everyone is putting the “Empathy” factor in their business motto’s, I hope they really apply it in their products, brands, services as well as real life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know πŸ™‚ thanks for dropping by.

      You too have a nice blog, different perspectives… Which is good.

      E.g. I take it as you are a big fan of K-pop, I am of Pink Floyd πŸ™‚ that’s 180 degree.

      Liked by 1 person

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