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Emil Michael, Fmr Uber CBO: Ridesharing and Picking VCs

Emil Michael
Emil Michael
Former Chief Business Officer
January 30, 2024

Emil Michael was the Chief Business Officer at $UBER during its hyperscale period from 2013 to 2017. He’s currently the CEO of DPCM Capital, and he’s also a strategic advisor to a number of amazing companies, including Codecademy, GroupMe and Taser. 

On this episode of World of DaaS, Auren and Emil cover everything from tech IPOs and Uber's stock performance to the future of AI, the relationship between Uber and Benchmark Capital, and more. 

Emil shares insights into the reasons behind the delay in tech IPOs, the profitability of ridesharing companies, and the future for Uber and Lyft as they expand their food delivery businesses and explore new verticals. He also discusses the impact of higher interest rates on startups and the nuances of launching and operating marketplace businesses. 

Emil and Auren also have a candid conversation about Uber’s relationship with Benchmark Capital and how it affected the trajectory of the company– Emil thinks Uber could have been 2 or 3 times as large as it is now. He offers key advice for founders on choosing your VCs and keeping execs and the board in alignment. 

To close out, Emil also shares some counterintuitive management advice and insights from conducting over 3,000 interviews at Uber.  

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 Emil on X at @emilmichael

Editing and post-production work for this episode was provided by The Podcast Consultant (

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Austen Allred, CEO of BloomTech: Aligning Education Incentives

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

January 23, 2024

Ben Horowitz, co-founder of a16z: Venture Capital

Ben Horowitz is the cofounder and CEO of Andreessen Horowitz, the most influential venture capital firm of the last 20 years. Ben and Andreessen Horowitz (also known as a16z) have invested in some of the biggest companies out there, including AirBnb, Coinbase, Facebook, Instacart, GitHub and Oculus. 

Prior to his VC career, Ben founded Opsware/Loudcloud, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard for $1.6 billion. He’s also the author of the bestselling books 'The Hard Thing About Hard Things' and ‘What You Do Is Who You Are.’

In this episode of World of DaaS, Auren and Ben discuss data moats, AI vs software, and the nuances of the modern VC. Ben starts by exploring whether AI will eat the world like software has, and who the winners and losers of the AI revolution might be.  

They also explore one of Ben’s best-known management concepts: wartime to peacetime CEOs, and how every CEO should be thinking about strategy and adaptability during broader tech headwinds. Ben's offers a candid perspective on how to build the right culture and what sets Andreessen Horowitz apart in the venture capital world.

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 Ben on Twitter at @bhorowitz.

October 24, 2023