Hit Refresh, Book Notes

Over the holiday I wrapped up a number of books that had been piling up on my bedside table. Hit Refresh was one of those books and I am glad I read it. The main reason I enjoyed the book was the underlying sense of optimism and progress that Satya implies through his vision of the future workforce and broader society. I similarly enjoyed his open willingness to revisit core principles and identify which foundations (people, culture, products) to support to enable the next chapter at Microsoft.

Here are some quotes from the book that I highlighted…

On leadership & vision

“A leader must see the external opportunities and the internal capability and culture – and all of the connections among them – and respond to them before they become parts of the conventional wisdom”

“The view your adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life” – Dr. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

“… compete hard, and then equally celebrate the opportunities we create for everyone. It’s not a zero sum game.”

On Trust

“Consistency is better than perfection”

“Consistency over time is trust” – Jeff Wiener

“The key to cultural change is individual empowerment”

“Learning to fly is not pretty, but flying is”

On Societal Change

Engelbart’s Law: “…Our ability to improve upon improvements is a uniquely human endeavor….”

“Economic improvement is centered around the intensity of the adoption, not just the presence or availability of the technology.”

Edward Conard: The Upside of Inequality…. inequality ultimately leads to faster growth and greater prosperity for everyone. Investors wait for good ideas that create their own demand for properly trained talent needed to commercialize ideas successfully. He sees two constraints to growth: an economy’s capacity and willingness to take risk and to find properly trained and motivated talent.

As machines replace labor in some tasks, firms will be incentivized to create new tasks in which humans have a competitive advantage. “Although automation tends to reduce employment and the share of labor in national income, the creation of more complex tasks has the opposite effects.” – Daron Acemoglu, MIT economist

“Business is humanity’s most resilient, iterative, and productive mechanism for creating change in the world.” – John Batelle