Review of the documentary series Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates

Pros: An interesting story about Bill Gates’ childhood, youth and the creation of Microsoft, with comments from Gates himself; a story about current projects of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; an attempt to understand what made Gates so successful and how he comes to certain ideas; a lot of archival records and photos that have not yet been published Cons: The authors could not explain what makes Bill Gates Bill Gates and how his brain works; if you are quite familiar with the hero’s biography, you are unlikely to learn anything new about his life before leaving Microsoft Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates

Genre documentary series
Directed by Davis Guggenheim
Netflix channel
Year of release 2019
Episode 3
Site IMDb

The title of the series Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates can be literally translated as “Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates.” We decided to avoid this cumbersome and hard-to-read construction in the title, but it perfectly describes the idea that miniseries creator Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, It Might Get Loud, Waiting for “Superman”) put into his work. Talking about the past and current projects of Bill Gates and his wife, the author of Inside Bill’s Brain tries to understand how Bill Gates’ brain works, what makes him special, and how he comes to certain decisions.

Looking ahead, let’s say that Davis Guggenheim never managed to understand Bill Gates’ secret. In the end, it all came down to a few platitudes. Gates reads a lot, really a LOT, on topics that interest him, delving into it so much that it surprises even narrow specialists. Gates goes into the wilderness for a week once a year to reset his brain and allow him to think calmly. Gates finds it easier to think while walking in nature or walking around the room. From childhood, Gates was an extremely capable boy with a high IQ. Gates, despite his extremely busy schedule, is never late for anything, because time is the only resource that he cannot buy with all his money. Bill Gates also loves and respects his wife Melinda, repeatedly emphasizing that the Foundation is their joint project, in which they are both equal partners, and is very angry with the press, which at first mentioned only his name in connection with the Foundation. Maybe this is the secret?


Three episodes of Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates talk about three current projects sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, connecting their work with certain moments in the life of the Microsoft founder. The first episode is about trying to create a cheap, safe, energy-free, water-free toilet for developing countries that could put an end to sanitation-related diseases such as dysentery. The second episode chronicles the Foundation’s efforts to end polio and the challenges the program faces in Africa. The third part shows the attempt of Bill Gates and TerraPower specialists to create an absolutely safe nuclear traveling wave reactor, running on depleted uranium (!) and requiring refueling once every 50 years (!!!), which theoretically can lead to a dramatic reduction in carbon dioxide emissions gas


Stories about these projects are interspersed with interviews with Bill Gates himself, in which he quite frankly answers questions related to his childhood, relationship with parents and friends, work at Microsoft; interviews with his sisters, colleagues and Melinda Gates. Some of the conversations were filmed during Gates’ long walks with the film’s director and look a little strange – viewed from behind, with a low camera. In addition, the series contains many previously unseen photographs of Gates’s childhood and youth and family films from the 60s, and some of the themes are illustrated with short animated videos.


Personally, out of all this, I was most impressed by the episode in which two multi-billionaires, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, who, despite the difference in age, share many years of friendship, play bridge with other pensioners in some simple community center, then wander around to a small souvenir shop and end the meeting by eating hamburgers at the most ordinary street eatery. And these are absolutely not staged shots.

If you have already read a lot about Bill Gates before watching Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates, it is unlikely that the series will reveal for you anything radically new about his life before leaving Microsoft, although some remarks about events 20-30 years ago, in particular , about how Gates felt the conflict with his friend Paul Allen (1953 – 2018) and his own departure from Microsoft, I found interesting. As well as some remarks by Gates himself, who, as it turns out, has a good, albeit somewhat peculiar, sense of humor.


Documentary series are what Netflix does best, and I highly recommend you check out Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates. Even if you don’t figure out how to make your brain work like Bill Gates’s, you will come to better understand the man and appreciate his efforts to benefit everyone on planet Earth. And even though Bill Gates has not yet solved any of the problems described in the series, this does not mean that it was not worth trying. In any case, this is a more correct and honest path than hysteria at the UN podium.


An interesting documentary mini-series that will allow you to take a fresh look at the personality of Bill Gates

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