Friday Nooner: BotBuilt CEO Brent Wadas On Why The Army Is Like “The Office”

This week’s Friday Nooner started with Joe’s disappointment in some unknown coffee thieves within the office, resulting in a lower-than-normal caffeine level for Jackie and Joe, but not Pete. Why? Pete joined the episode from New York, where he was reuniting with his old Goldman Sachs buddies before heading to Orlando for a Caribbean cruise… with his parents (good luck, Pete). 

After some brainstorming about a potential GrepBeat-sponsored cruise on Jordan Lake, the crew discussed the 2023 Davos Conference. Unfortunately, Joe couldn’t make it to this gathering of the rich and mighty. Whether he truly had a conflict or just wasn’t invited is debatable. On a non-Davos-related note, Jackie announced that this week, GrepBeat kicked off Season Two of our For Starters podcast in which new host Anil Chawla discusses how startups discover product-market fit. Listen to the first episode with Kevel CEO James Avery here!

The team also touched upon Microsoft and Google’s big layoffs this past week and their representation of how the national tech industry is “tightening up.” One startup that is actually looking to hire is Durham-based BotBuilt, which is led by this week’s guest, CEO Brent Wadas.

Here are some key takeaways of the group’s conversation:

  • BotBuilt (read our feature story on the startup here) is innovating the home construction industry through automation science… aka robots. The startup’s technology allows for house frames to be built in a couple hours rather than a couple weeks. BotBuilt manufactures the frames in-factory instead of on-site. Eventually, Brent hopes that people will be able to design and upload their own house-frames and receive full-framing soon after. 
  • Brent’s leadership style within BotBuilt takes inspiration from his decade-plus serving in the military, where he described his role as similar to Dwight Schrute’s in The Office, aka Assistant (to the) Regional Manager. What Brent really means is that he ran around doing a whole lot of different things and said a whole lot of “I got it, boss.” GrepBeat has its own Office connection, too—Pete’s allegedly uncanny similarity to Toby Flenderson (sorry, Pete). [Editor’s Note: Pete does not accept the apology.] What Brent described as his most transferable skills from the military to his entrepreneurial pursuits are the importance of small-group teamwork and a sense of urgency and purpose.
  • Back to the topic of hiring, BotBuilt is looking for not just talented individuals, but hard-working, ambitious team players. Brent said he is currently recruiting the best-of-the-best in the software engineering, computer science, and robotics fields. And by best-of-the-best, he means great intelligence and great attitude.

You can watch the full episode on LinkedIn here, or on Facebook here.

Or on YouTube here.

Auditory learners can listen (and subscribe to!) our podcast version: