Top Lessons from "Inside Bill's Brain" Documentry

Top Lessons from "Inside Bill's Brain" Documentry

Bill Gates is one of the most fascinating people on the world. He founded Microsoft to revolutionize the way people think and interact with technology making him the richest man on the planet. Then he decided to start the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation together with his wife Melinda to help people around the world by eradicating diseases such as Polio, giving people access to better drinking water, food, resources, education, empowering women and more.

The documentary “Inside Bill’s Brain” offers us a look into the life of Bill Gates and what he has done to make the world a better place for everyone.

Overall, the documentary was certainly eye opening with lots of information, stories, events and anecdotes from Bill Gates and those close with him such as his family and friends.

One thing that was interesting was that there was not a single timeline for this documentary. At the start, it focused on Bill’s childhood and interest in computers. Then it went on into two different timelines.

One about Microsoft and his relations with his parents, siblings, Paul Allen, Steve Ballmer and Melinda Gates and the other about his philanthropic endeavors to reinvent the toilet, improve sanitation, eradicate polio and to solve climate change through renewable energy sources focusing his efforts on TerraPower

However one main idea that was present through the whole documentary was his relentless pursuit to work harder and solve problems even though they might seem impossible to most.

Here is the outline for the notes.

  1. High Level Ideas 🧠
  2. Bill’s Childhood + Introduction to Computers 👶🖥
  3. Microsoft 🚀
  4. Friendships 👫
  5. Reinventing the Toilet 🧼
  6. Eradicating Polio 🦠
  7. Nuclear as a renewable source of energy 💡

High Level Ideas 🧠

  • Think Week
  • Every year since the 90s, Bill Gates takes a week off to disconnect and read lots of books and technical papers. Refers to his brain being like a CPU.
  • When confronted with something difficult, he always says “Work Harder”
  • Relentless pursuit to solve problems.
  • Be optimistic

Bill’s Childhood + Introduction to Computers 👶🖥

  • Born in 1955 to Mary Maxwell Gates and Bill Gates Sr.
  • Loves Hamburgers and worst fear is that he doesn’t want his brain to stop working
  • Does best thinking when walking
  • Smiled all the time as a kid. Still a very optimistic person.
  • Mary Gates was very involved in local community and was a board member in many meetings. Sometimes she was the only women. She wanted her children to be successful.
  • Bill didn’t like authority and used to just be in his room and read tons of books.
  • Bill used to get really frustrated and used it to fuel himself. Instead he would think
  • Lets go faster and solve the problem
  • What’s between us and victory
  • Bill was very competitive
  • Mary Gates forced Bill to socialize by inviting to dinners she or Bill Gates Sr. was invited to. She also helped a lot during the starting of Microsoft.
  • Paul Allen sought out Bill and Kent after they both did well in math to learn programming. They both learned programming and soon were asked to make a class schedule maker when the nearby girl’s school wanted to merge.
  • Lots of constraints in the problem and had to make schedules for 400 students. Paul and Bill worked day and night for weeks to make it possible. Finally did it and worked for other companies and schools.

Microsoft 🚀

  • Saw the Altair 8800 being released. Wanted to join the computer revolution so built software for it. Microsoft was born.
  • Bill worked all the time while Paul liked other interests such as playing the guitar. They had some issues and disagreements and were close sometimes and distant other times.
  • Paul became less interested in Microsoft as he didn’t have a desire to run a big company. Paul soon left after being ill.
  • Steve Ballmer was critical to making Microsoft a big company like how Paul Allen was important in the start of Microsoft.
  • US Gov accused Microsoft of illegally maintaining monopoly position in the PC market in 2000.
  • Their highlight reel from the 3 day deposition with Bill Gates showed him looking annoyed, sarcastic, arrogant and bad.
  • For the first time in his life, Bill actively sought out distraction during the anti-trust lawsuit.

Friendships 👫

  • His mother wanted him to meet Warren Buffet. Bill was originally reluctant as he was too busy with Microsoft. After much insistence, they met and talked for hours. Became close friends.
  • Melinda was working for Microsoft and they met at a meeting and later at the parking lot.
  • Decided to get married after dating for a year.
  • Had a whiteboard with the pros and cons of getting married. Microsoft was getting big. Wondering how the marriage and business would go together.

Improving Sanitation 🧼

  • Bill and Melinda read this article in 1997 about children in poor countries dying from diarrhea.
  • Wanted to make a bigger impact than just donating computers to children from poor countries.
  • Funded new innovations for toilets

Eradicating Polio 🦠

  • For western countries, polio is a distant memory but was still very present in developing countries around 2000. It was still prevalent because of poor sanitation
  • Once polio would seem to decrease, it would suddenly increase in another area.
  • Crunched lots of data and accurately predicted where the next outbreak would be.

Promoting Nuclear 💡

  • Bill wanted to solve the problem of Climate Change.
  • Nuclear was the best bet.
  • Nuclear Power has bad public perception
  • Nuclear is associated with bombs and radiation.
  • 1986 Chernobyl disaster
  • 2011 Fukushima disaster
  • Radioactive waste
  • There was limited innovation in Nuclear. Current nuclear plants were using designs from 50s and 60s.
  • More people are killed by coal then by nuclear.
  • Had plans to work with China to innovate in Nuclear Power.
  • Met with top leaders to discuss.
  • Plans were disrupted by Trade War with China and increase in Tariffs.

These were the notes that I took from this amazing 3 part documentry. I strongly recommend that you watch this documentry if you want to have a deeper understanding of Bill Gates and how he started Microsoft and his current philanthropic endeavours which are certainly helping the world.

As always, would love to hear your thoughts about this. Do email me at or @sharvenium on twitter. :D