20. From Drunk Rats to Pet Robots: Appropriate Management Style Matters

The Dirt

04-08-2022 • 47 mins

Robotics and education fanatic, Jacob Hanchar, joins Jim Barnish on this episode of The Dirt. Jacob shares how his view of “micromanagement” has changed to a positive one in the last few years. His experience says: there is a time and a place for more micromanagement in business. Oftentimes in the early stages of a business, you must have a more hands-on approach because delegation may get you in trouble if folks are not properly trained.

Jacob learned this lesson first-hand and after a rigorous amount of cleanup Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and overtraining are now the norm.

Jacob started as a Ph.D. in neuroscience, more specifically neuropharmacology, where he developed and patented a drug that got rid of hangovers (Read more about Kudzu here if interested..). In starting a lab, he realized it was a lot like a business, which motivated him to go back and get his MBA. Join us to hear Jacob’s journey which is not your run-of-the-mill entrepreneur.

3 Key Takeaways

  • There is a time and a place for appropriate micromanagement.
  • Training, training, training! The less training you do now, the more mess you will have to clean up later. Just do it now.
  • Find a cofounder who’s like-minded, but different enough to cover the blind spots. Make sure they are in similar life positions.


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About Jacob Hanchar

Jacob serves as advisor and investor to many start-up companies in Western PA. Jacob received his doctorate in 2007 from the University of California Los Angeles where he focused on research in biological sciences. He performed post-doctoral work in otolaryngologic disorders particularly tinnitus at Rosalind Franklin University in Chicago and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Neuroscience. While completing his MBA, he met 2 engineers that pushed him into the EdTech space. After developing and taking these EdTech products to market, Jacob ended up purchasing a failing robotics company which he is the CEO of today.