Bill Gates is one of the world's most successful businessmen. From the creation of Microsoft to the success of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he has been working tirelessly for the better part of 50 years and Inside Bill's Brain is the documentary that takes a look at his life in greater detail.
Packed out with one-to-one interviews with Gates, we get a full run-down on the how's and why's of his success. From his childhood to his years at school, there are few topics off the table. Each of the three episodes focuses not just on Gates but also on one major aspect of the foundation. So in the first, the focus is on sanitation in the developing world. The second looks at the eradication of polio and the third on producing clean nuclear energy.
What stands out is that Bill Gates comes across as being completely honest about his life, including mistakes he has made along the way. He doesn't shy away from his difficulties with his old Microsoft partner, Paul Allen, or how hard it was for his wife in the early years of their family. The death of his mother still impacts him to this day and he is fully aware that working almost non-stop took its toll on friendships and his life. But this isn't a ‘woe is me' tale. Gates is simply acknowledging that those aspects played their part in creating the life he has today – the good and the bad.
Where he excels is in his dedication to improving the world, one often unsexy element at a time. Everybody is on the clean water bandwagon, but who is looking at improving sanitation and sewage facilities? Who is out there trying to create a toilet that doesn't use water or electricity to improve the lives of millions of people around the world? Who is mapping out African countries to ensure that all children can get a polio vaccine? Bill Gates is. And it's that switch from being a workaholic to a man set on making the world a better place that really resonates in Inside Bill's Brain.
He didn't do it alone of course. Bill goes to great pains to ensure Melinda gets as much credit for the foundation as well as those that step up and donate like Warren Buffett, who is also interviewed. But whatever way you cut the dice, Bill Gates is an awe-inspiring man. I just wish the editing was a little better. It all seemed a bit choppy, jumping backwards and forwards and I would have liked to see some bits fleshed out a little more but otherwise, this was a fascinating watch.