Top 10 Questions from The Inside Bill’s Brain documentary — Part 1

Vatsal Shah
5 min readOct 13, 2019

Hey, did you get time to watch the documentary on Bill Gates? No? Then find common questions, answers, and learning from a documentary through 10 questions.

Netflix has just released a three-part documentary called “Inside Bill’s Brain,” and I watched all three parts in a single night. I’m reading a lot on Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and other successful people in their respective industries and follow them on LinkedIn and other social platforms.

I belong to the middle-class family and completed my Masters from the Western University of Ontario, Canada, and working as a software developer in Canada from last year. I know that I’m on the journey of being successful one day in my life. (In my view success means financial freedom, healthier than yesterday, give something back to society and educate others).

I do have very fundamental questions in my mind for a very long time. I have a mentor who helps me technically, but I want to know and understand the pattern behind the most successful people in the world.

Question’s in my mind:

  1. Are they working on weekends? Or do they follow a 9–5 work schedule bubble and manage work-life balance? (Episode — 2)
  2. What’re they doing differently compared to others? (Episode — 1)
  3. What’s their daily schedule?
  4. What’s a driven force behind these people, which helps to make the billion-dollar company or the most successful company in the world?
  5. How do they spend 24 hours?

After watching a series on Bill’s, I found answers to my questions.

Are they working on weekends? Or do they follow a 9–5 work schedule bubble and manage work-life balance? (Episode — 2)

  • I was so happy when Bill said that “I didn’t believe in weekends.” When you’re working on the complex problem or doing something of your interest and love, then why do you need weekends?
  • If you’re working 9–5 for someone, then you should have to spend the rest of the time for your self in learning something new. But people fail to do that and waste their time on unnecessary things.
  • In a documentary, Bill’s wife Millenda said he usually late from work. If you’re married, then you need a partner who can understand and help to achieve each other’s dream together.
  • If you’re achieving your dream, then probably you don’t worry about 9–5 and work-life balance bubble.

Quote from Episode — 2

“A key advantage I had was being fanatical, that is taking all my capabilities day and night and just focusing on, ‘OK, how do I write good software? I didn’t believe in weekends. I didn’t believe in vacation.” — Bill Gates

What’re they doing differently compared to others? (Episode — 1)

  • They’re following the schedule every single day.
  • They reach on time and never be late; it helps them to manage their time and won’t conflict with their other tasks.
  • Focus on one thing at a time instead of jumping here and there on different tasks.

“He is on time to the minute, every single meeting without fail. Time is the one commodity that he can’t buy more of. It’s a limited resource. It’s finite. He’s got the same 24 hours in a day that the rest of us have.” — Lauren Jiloty, Gates Ventures.

What’s their daily schedule?

  • I don’t have an exact answer to this question, but I understood that following a schedule creates an impact and positive energy for your whole day.
  • In the first scene, it was a clock that shows “6:00 AM” on the display that means a lot about the punctuality and schedule pattern of Bill.

What’s a driven force behind these people, which helps to make the billion-dollar company or the most successful company in the world?

  • If you watched a documentary, his sister told us that Bill’s mother was a driven force for him. As she engaged in society and I’m not sure at what scale it helped to Bill’s in his struggle years of Microsoft.
  • But there is always someone who helps you to move forward in your life. It’s all about an individual’s hard work, talent, and passion for reaching and achieving your goals.
  • Moreover, Warren Buffet is with him in a hard time to discuss ideas and solutions. When Bill was not able to find a solution to the terrorism problem in Nigeria, in the documentary, they saw that he met Buffet to discuss a problem in a restaurant.

Why’re they so successful in their life? How do they think about the problems and solutions? (Episode — 2)

  • Yes, they take help from others. When Bill was working on the Lakeside School scheduling program in the strict deadline. He wasn’t able to figure out the solution, and I believe it’s completely fine.
  • He took the help of his friend Paul, and they both together solved a problem.
  • The only difference between them and us is not to give up easily; it may take some time to solve it. I do believe everything is possible; you have to spend more time to find a more reliable and perfect solution to a problem.

How do they spend 24 hours?

  • I don’t know the exact answer, but from one scene of a documentary, they were discussing Bill’s schedule for a day. It was like, meetings with Microsoft board members in the morning, lunch at 11 AM, meeting with Warren Buffett in the noon after that an interview with journalist and spend the evening at a lab.

“He reads fast and synthesizes well. The most amazing thing is, he almost always knows more than the other person he’s talking to about whatever it is, it’s unbelievable.”

I put my thoughts and thinking in my answers, but it’s not the same as you’re thinking. Isn’t it? What does your brain say for these questions?

Feel free to comment on your thoughts on the first five questions. Looking forward to learning from your brain’s thoughts, feelings, ideas, and thinking process. :)

Part — 2 is coming soon.

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Vatsal Shah

Intrapreneur, Machine Learning | AI | Software Engineer | IoT | Voice Applications