Hit Refresh

The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone

By Satya Nadella


StarStarStarHalf StarStar

Originally published

Sep 26, 2017


PurchaseExternal link
His philosophy
“Ideas excite me. Empathy grounds and centers me.”
“In order not to suffer, or at least not to suffer so much, one must become comfortable with impermanence”
“Pace comes when you do your thing. So long as you enjoy it , do it mindfully and well, and have an honest purpose behind it, life won’t fail you.”
As a leader, you must “Bring clarity to those you work with”
“Software, the most malleable resource humans have made”
Insights on technology past
For Microsoft, bureaucracy was in the way of innovation
“The emergence of cloud services fundamentally shifted the economics of computing. It standardized and pooled computing resources and automated maintenance tasks once done manually.”
Cloud revolution
“As a company, we’d been very publicly missing the mobile revolution, but we were no about to miss the cloud”
“Dogma at MS had long held that the open-source software from Linux was the enemy. We couldn’t afford to cling to that attitude any longer. We had to meet the customers where they were and, more importantly, we needed to ensure that we viewed our opportunity not through a rearview mirror, but with a more future-oriented perspective”
Things people don't realize about Microsoft
Bing was one of the first MS businesses built in the cloud
“Ultimately, Bing would prove to be a great training ground for building the hyper-scale, cloud -first services that today permeate Microsoft”
On mobile: “I did not get why the world needed the third ecosystem in phones, unless we changed the rules”
Nokia taught them how to build hardware —> hololens
Kinect is fun but also powers MR innovation on the backend
It's all connected, cohesive: not an ideal track but the technologies all extend each other
Renovating Microsoft
Microsoft wants to empower dreams
“Always have respect for you competitor, but don’t be in awe. Go and compete”
“Envy is negative and outer-directed, not driven from within, and so I knew that it wouldn’t carry us far down the path to true renewal”
“We’ve developed the maturity to become more obsessed with customer needs, thereby learning to coexist and compete”
“Agility. We needed to develop speed, nimbleness, and athleticism to get the consumer experience right, not just once but daily”.
“It was important that the transformation came from within, from the core. It’s the only way to make change sustainable”
“We needed to envision a world where the mobility possible, enabling the new generation of intelligent experiences.”
“When an employee’s aperture is smaller—a marketer in Malaysia or technical support in Texas—such a mission can seem distant and unattainable”
“Demonstrating a growth mindset. Customer-centric. Diverse and inclusive. One company."
“A company that once was seen as crushing the competition is now focused on achieving business growth by empowering everyone on the planet”
Insights on technology future
Mixed reality
Quantum computing
Pattern recognition -> perception -> cognition -> empathy
“Tech companies with privileged access to data, computing power, and algorithms handcraft an AI product and make it available to the world.”
Nadella sees an AI revolution on the horizon: “It’s analogous to the democratization that movable type and the printing press created”
GPUs, TPUs, etc. (specialized hardware) are short term cures to limits of Moore’s law; quantum computing will change this
Quantum computing → more secure encryption, can solve problems which are computationally unsolvable at the moment
“A quantum computer will operative as a coprocessor, receiving its instructions and cues from a stack of classical processors.”
Technology and policy in the future
Empathy + shared values + safety and reliability = trust over time
“Trust is essential—and it is also painfully vulnerable to a multitude of forces”
“Trust has had an economic as much as an ethical purpose”
Tech advances from an impact point of view exclusively when trust advances
Regarding changes in data privacy and recent scandals, Nadella adds “I don’t believe this means that privacy has died. It simply means that people are adopting new definitions and new norm for privacy.”
At a higher level, technology should grow the economy and equality
“The resulting failure of governments to encourage rapid and intense use of new technologies means that the trend toward growing economic inequality the between the haves and the have-nots of the world has continued unabated.”
“Countries that invest in building technology skills as a percent of GDP will see the rewards.”

← Back to all books