Microsoft EVP Qi Lu’s Book Reading List in 2016

lu1As executive vice president of Microsoft’s Applications and Services Group, Dr. Qi Lu leads Microsoft’s business across productivity, communications, education, search and other information services. He sets the vision, strategy and overall direction of the Applications and Services Group, and is responsible for all of the research and development teams across Microsoft Office, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, Yammer, Lync, Skype, Bing, Bing Apps, MSN and the Advertising platforms and business group. The Apps and Services group will empower people and organizations around the world to achieve more with compelling and delightful experiences.

Dr. Lu was previously the president of the Online Services Division, where he led the company’s search, portal and online advertising efforts.

Dr. Qi Lu recommends the following books in 2016.   Get recommended reads from other Microsoft Executives in 2016. 

The Computer and the Brain   The conquest of happiness   Sketching user experiences  Information rules   Escape velocity   Conscious business 2   The structure of scientific revolutions   Superintelligence   How to Create a Mind   Sapiens

The Computer and the Brain
In this classic work, one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century explores the analogies between computing machines and the living human brain. John von Neumann, whose many contributions to science, mathematics, and engineering include the basic organizational framework at the heart of today’s computers, concludes that the brain operates both digitally and analogically, but also has its own peculiar statistical language.

The Conquest of Happiness
In The Conquest of Happiness, first published by Liveright in 1930, iconoclastic philosopher Bertrand Russell attempted to diagnose the myriad causes of unhappiness in modern life and chart a path out of the seemingly inescapable malaise so prevalent even in safe and prosperous Western societies. More than eighty years later, Russell’s wisdom remains as true as it was on its initial release. Eschewing guilt-based morality, Russell lays out a rationalist prescription for living a happy life, including the importance of cultivating interests outside oneself and the dangers of passive pleasure. In this new edition, best-selling philosopher Daniel C. Dennett reintroduces Russell to a new generation, stating that Conquest is both “a fascinating time capsule” and “a prototype of the flood of self-help books that have more recently been published, few of them as well worth reading today as Russell’s little book.”

Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design (Interactive Technologies)
Sketching User Experiences approaches design and design thinking as something distinct that needs to be better understood-by both designers and the people with whom they need to work- in order to achieve success with new products and systems. So while the focus is on design, the approach is holistic. Hence, the book speaks to designers, usability specialists, the HCI community, product managers, and business executives. There is an emphasis on balancing the back-end concern with usability and engineering excellence (getting the design right) with an up-front investment in sketching and ideation (getting the right design). Overall, the objective is to build the notion of informed design: molding emerging technology into a form that serves our society and reflects its values.

Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy 
In Information Rules, authors Shapiro and Varian reveal that many classic economic concepts can provide the insight and understanding necessary to succeed in the information age. They argue that if managers seriously want to develop effective strategies for competing in the new economy, they must understand the fundamental economics of information technology. Whether information takes the form of software code or recorded music, is published in a book or magazine, or even posted on a website, managers must know how to evaluate the consequences of pricing, protecting, and planning new versions of information products, services, and systems. The first book to distill the economics of information and networks into practical business strategies, Information Rules is a guide to the winning moves that can help business leaders navigate successfully through the tough decisions of the information economy.

Escape Velocity: Free Your Company’s Future from the Pull of the Past
In Escape Velocity Geoffrey A. Moore, author of the marketing masterwork Crossingthe Chasm, teaches twenty-first century enterprises how to overcome thepull of the past and reorient their organizations to meet a new era ofcompetition. The world’s leading high-tech business strategist, Moore connectsthe dots between bold strategies and effective execution, with an action planthat elucidates the link between senior executives and every other branch of acompany. For readers of Larry Bossidy’s Execution,Clay Christensen’s Innovator’s Solution, and Gary Vaynerchuck’sCrush It!, and for anyone aiming for the pinnacle of business success, EscapeVelocity is an irreplaceable roadmap to the top.

Conscious Business: How to Build Value through Values
Consciousness is the main source of organizational greatness. Conscious business, explains Fred Kofman, means finding your passion and expressing your essential values through your work. A conscious business seeks to promote the intelligent pursuit of happiness in all its stakeholders. It produces sustainable, exceptional performance through the solidarity of its community and the dignity of each member.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
“A landmark in intellectual history which has attracted attention far beyond its own immediate field. . . . It is written with a combination of depth and clarity that make it an almost unbroken series of aphorisms. . . . Kuhn does not permit truth to be a criterion of scientific theories, he would presumably not claim his own theory to be true. But if causing a revolution is the hallmark of a superior paradigm, [this book] has been a resounding success.” –Nicholas Wade, Science

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies
Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life.

How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed
Ray Kurzweil is arguably today’s most influential—and often controversial—futurist. In How to Create a Mind, Kurzweil presents a provocative exploration of the most important project in human-machine civilization—reverse engineering the brain to understand precisely how it works and using that knowledge to create even more intelligent machines.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
“I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a fun, engaging look at early human history…you’ll have a hard time putting it down.”–Bill Gates



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