“Hit Refresh” Book Review – Transforming Microsoft with a growth mindset 📚

“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge. – George R.R. Martin”


Yes, I admit that I sort of dropped the ball on reading. What was more surprising is that all this while I almost did nothing to correct it. Fortunately sanity prevailed and my wife who herself is a voracious reader and a writer (though her first masterpiece is still in making) help me remind about all the good things I am missing by not reading. So I picked up books again!

This blog is share reviews of whatever little I’ve read and learn from your thoughts.

So what is my latest read?

Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone – By Satya Nadella

First as an Ex Micrsoftie, I am in absolutely love with Microsoft and I take so much pride in talking about how the years that I spent in MS has helped me shaping my career. While some may disagree, but I firmly believe that impact that Microsoft had on our daily lives is beyond any other technology company. Not just the software, Microsoft clearly were the first company that provided the platform, tools and more importantly the inspiration to dream and design a digital world, as it we know today. Over the time, other tech companies came to their age and outsmarted Microsoft in multiple key areas including Search, Social and Mobile. And then Satya Nadella came to helm he embarked on a journey to re-discover the lost soul of company and make it relevant (and Cool) again.

‘Hit Refresh’ is primarily divided into three parts

  1. First is Satya’s personal story coming from India and arriving at Microsoft in 1992
  2. Second is story of Microsoft transformation and steps Satya took to curate the ‘Growth Mindset’ in employees
  3. Third (and favorite) part of where Satya talks about the disruptions and transformation that technology is going to create, which will overcome the existing limits of physics and chemistry and ultimately better the mankind

Author has been extremely honest and open in talking about the strengths of his competitors and acknowledges the need find the smart ways to partner with companies to learn from each other perspective. There are multiple places in book that made me realize that Satya is a leader who has no fear of being authentic and vulnerable. He actually talked about his biggest fumble at Grace Hopper conference and how working with ‘Frenemies’ Microsoft created more growth opportunities like Office for Mac!

The key take away the book offers to its readers is to stay optimistic about what’s to come. As the technology is advancing, the world is changing faster then ever. One  definite ways master this change is have a “Growth Mindset

“Don’t Be a Know-It-All, Be a Learn-It-All – Satya Nadella”

Author: Varun Dhawan

Hello dear reader, I'm a Product Manager @Microsoft based in MN, US (beautiful land of 10,000 lakes). I am perpetually curious and always willing to learn and engineer systems that can help solve complex problems using data. When I am not engineering or blogging, you’ll find me cooking and spending time with my family. Varun.Dhawan@gmail.com

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