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Austen Allred, CEO of BloomTech: Aligning Education Incentives

Austen Allred
Austen Allred
Co-Founder & CEO
Bloom Institute of Technology
January 23, 2024

Austen Allred is the founder and CEO of the Bloom Institute of Technology (formerly known as Lambda School), a coding bootcamp that’s helped thousands of students get a job in tech.      

In this episode, Auren and Austen dive deep on the business model of higher education. The discussion kicks off with an exploration of Income Share Agreements (ISAs) and how BloomTech has used them as an alternative to student loans. Austen shares insights on the financial incentives and regulatory pressures that have prevented more schools from embracing ISAs, and how the current student loan regime works.   

Auren and Austen discuss different funding models at public and private universities, the decline of apprenticeship, and the structural factors that have caused the cost of education to skyrocket in the last few decades. Austen sheds light on questionable practices of for-profit colleges and the intriguing dynamics of universities acquiring coding bootcamps.

As the conversation unfolds, Austen shares insights on how being an investor makes him a better CEO and even delves into intriguing conspiracy theories. The episode wraps up with Austen debunking common management advice and offering unconventional perspectives on micromanagement and employee satisfaction. 

World of DaaS is brought to you by SafeGraph & Flex Capital. For more episodes, visit

You can find Auren Hoffman on X at @auren and Austen Allred at @Austen

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Greg Lukianoff, President of FIRE: Free Speech

Greg Lukianoff is the President and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE). He’s also a bestselling author of several books, including The Coddling of the American Mind and most recently The Canceling of the American Mind.

On this episode of World of DaaS, Auren and Greg delve into the current state of cancel culture. Greg reveals surprising stats on which schools are the best and worst for free speech in 2024 and breaks down the escalating levels of shoutdowns and violence observed on campuses in 2020 and 2021.

Beyond campus dynamics, the discussion expands to the broader significance of the situation in academia and what the value of a degree should be in the workforce. Greg advocates for a shift in focus from degrees as a metric of value, and talks about what smart companies are looking towards for alternative hiring criteria. Auren and Greg also explore of the origins of cancel culture in 2014, tying in historical lessons on censorship and highlighting the interplay between free speech and the contemporary culture of safetyism.

World of DaaS is brought to you by SafeGraph & Flex Capital. For more episodes, visit

You can find Auren Hoffman on X at @auren and Greg Lukianoff on X at @glukianoff.

January 2, 2024

David Sacks: SaaS Metrics, Tech Cycles & Fundraising in a Down Market

David is a co-founder and partner at Craft Ventures, one of the foremost SaaS VCs. He was the former COO at Paypal and he’s invested in over 20 unicorns, including AirBnB, Facebook, Palantir, Uber, and SpaceX. 

David and Auren discuss the state of SaaS in 2023 and consider how layoffs, seat contraction, and the broader macro environment could affect the ecosystem this year. David shares some advice on how companies should be positioning themselves to weather the downturn. They also talk about bubbles and cycles in tech, how to spot stand-out founders early, and which analysts have the best record on foreign policy.  

World of DaaS is brought to you by SafeGraph & Flex Capital. For more episodes, visit

You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and David Sacks on Twitter at @DavidSacks

January 24, 2023