Welcome to the 18th and latest episode of the Inc. Uncensored podcast, hosted by Inc. editor James Ledbetter.

In this episode, senior editor Kris Frieswick discusses the ruling by California regulators that Uber drivers are employees, not contractors. If Uber ultimately is forced to make all of its drivers full-fledged employees, the ride-sharing company will have to reexamine its business model. Meanwhile, Uber has hired a slew of robotics engineers and bought a fleet of driverless cars for R&D--is the company betting on a future of non-human employees?

Jeff Bercovici, Inc.'s San Francisco bureau chief, talks about his feature in the July issue of Inc. magazine, which details Peter Thiel's investment in a group of biotech startups trying to elongate the human life. While biotech firms can be a risky bet, Bercovici says these companies are already seeing results. Immusoft, for example, has said there's no theoretical reason it cannot recreate the biochemical circumstances of youth in an aging body, while EpiBone is aiming to replace people's aging bones with new ones and is already testing its technology in pigs.

Staff writer Will Yakowicz tells the story of two brothers, on welfare during the recession, who built a $70 million business selling chicken in bulk straight from the farm to customers in parking lots. Zaycon Fresh, which now holds direct farm-to-consumer sales events in 48 states, has cut out the middleman and lowered meat prices by 50 percent with its simple-yet-innovative business model.

And as with every episode, find out what made every member of the podcast team hit the "Like Button" this week.

James Ledbetter, the editor of Inc., is host of the Inc. Uncensored podcast, which is part of the Panoply network. Regular participants include senior editor Kris Frieswick, a journalist and award-winning humor columnist; Jeff Bercovici, the San Francisco bureau chief of Inc.; and staff writer Will Yakowicz, who covers legal cannabis, tech, and the grey economy.

You can listen to individual episodes on the Panoply network, Soundcloud, or on iTunes--where you can also subscribe. We hope you enjoy. Stream the 18th episode below, or click the links at the left.

Published on: Jun 19, 2015