Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates

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Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates
Created by
Directed by
  • Davis Guggenheim
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes3
Executive producer(s)
  • Davis Guggenheim
  • Beth Osisek
  • Steven Leckart
Running time51-56 minutes
Original networkNetflix
First shown inWorldwide
Original releaseSeptember 20, 2019 (2019-09-20)

Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates is a 2019 three-part documentary web television series created and directed by Davis Guggenheim. The series's premise explores the mind and motivations of Bill Gates, a former CEO of Microsoft and founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, together with his wife.[1][2]

The first episode expores Gates's interest in improving sanitation in developing countries and the development of the "Omni Processor". His two sisters share their childhood memories.[3] The second episode focuses on Gates' work to eradicate polio in Nigeria and advance polio vaccinations, also exploring his youth and friendships, for example with Kent Evans and with Paul Allen, later the Microsoft co-founder.[3]

The third episode explores Gates' search for climate change solutions. This includes the development of a novel nuclear power reactor, under development by TerraPower, a nuclear reactor design company founded by Bill Gates. In addition to exploring Bill's relationship and marriage with Melinda Gates,[4] the third episode also details his friendship with fellow billionaire Warren Buffett and the antitrust law case in 1998-2001, using original footage from the trial. In this trial, the U.S. government accused Microsoft of illegally maintaining its monopoly position in the PC market (see United States v. Microsoft Corp.).

The documentary "toggles between [Gates'] storybook upper-middle-class childhood, the creation of Microsoft, and his current status as the world’s second-richest man."[5]



Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates was released on September 20, 2019 on Netflix.[1]


One review in 2019 said "Inside Bill’s Brain often feels more superficial than it actually is because it switches topics so freely". Much of this documentary is about his charity work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, not about his life, personality, or beliefs.[4] The same review said the second episode is the best one as it comes closest "decoding" Gates.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Bill Gates documentary series coming to Netflix from Inconvenient Truth director". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2019-08-20.
  2. ^ "Netflix Sets 3-Part Doc That 'Explores the Mind and Motivations' of Bill Gates". The Wrap. Retrieved 2019-08-20.
  3. ^ a b "Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates". Netflix. 2019. Retrieved 20 Apr 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Murray, Noel (18 September 2019). "A new Netflix docuseries heads inside Bill Gates' brain, but it keeps getting sidetracked". The Verge. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  5. ^ Press, Joy (16 September 2019). "Bill Gates Is Saving the World, One Toilet at a Time". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 20 April 2020.

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