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Madison Catania: “Better an oops than a what if”

We really hope to introduce more parties from the podcast space into the podcasting platform; sponsors, studios, editors, etc. Beyond podcasting, we’ve had companies approach us in different industries who are looking to use Wildcasts’ platform and adapt it to their own industry, so we’re also looking to partner with those outside of podcasting. As […]

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We really hope to introduce more parties from the podcast space into the podcasting platform; sponsors, studios, editors, etc. Beyond podcasting, we’ve had companies approach us in different industries who are looking to use Wildcasts’ platform and adapt it to their own industry, so we’re also looking to partner with those outside of podcasting.


As a part of our series about strong women leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Madison Catania.

Madison is the CEO and Co-Founder of Wildcast, Inc. (gowildcast.com), a patent-pending podcast platform that connects those within the industry through guest and podcast discovery, booking, messaging, and calendaring. The Wildcast marketplace launches in late August/early September 2020 to the public after having soft-launched to early users, including top-charting podcasters and well-known guests in various industries. Madison recently earned her MBA at the Rady School of Management at UCSD (San Diego, CA) and served as lead producer at a podcast network prior to founding Wildcast.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

Thanks for having me! I’ve definitely tried a few different career paths before I arrived in the podcasting space. After graduating from Villanova University in 2014, I worked in marketing in both the tech and entertainment industries while living in New York City. I decided to return to San Diego to take my marketing experience to the hospitality world, opening several restaurants as part of my family’s newly introduced restaurant group for several years. I decided to go back to school to pursue my MBA and that’s when I realized I wanted to try to take my passion for listening to and learning from podcasts and make it into a career. I ended up at a small podcast network, first working in marketing but then leading the production team. My years at the network combined with my entrepreneurship-focused MBA program ultimately inspired the idea that is now Wildcast.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

While the podcast industry is growing immensely both in the number of listeners and the number of podcasts, the great majority of new companies in the space are geared toward the consumers and listeners of podcasts, not the podcasters themselves. After having worked as Head of Production at a small podcast network, mainly working on top pop culture and reality TV podcasts, I realized there was much to do to streamline the podcasting space for those within the industry; the podcasters, producers, guests, and sponsors. After finishing my MBA program, my co-founder (who also happens to be my godfather!) and I decided to form Wildcast. Wildcast is a patent-pending networking platform for those within the podcast industry who are looking to connect with new talent, get their messages heard by a new audience, and promote their podcasts. We hope to end the chains of pointless emails and irrelevant pitches by introducing our platform that includes custom calendaring, messaging, and networking abilities to streamline the podcasting industry from within.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Before we were deep into founding the business, I was working on coming up with a name and found one that I fell in love with. Sadly, it was trademarked by someone in the space. I actually was so determined to make this name work that I reached out to the company hoping to find an agreement. Not shockingly, they said we could not use the name. Duh. I realized that things don’t need to be perfect to move forward — nothing ever is. I came up with Wildcast a few days later and love the name even more.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

Some of my mentors include the two women who run the podcast network I worked for and who continue to work with me through Wildcast, Nadine Robinson and Clio De La Llave. My dad has always been a huge mentor throughout my life and career. My biggest mentor is my co-founder, Scott. He is an extremely positive and uplifting presence. I often feel discouraged when things don’t go the “right” way, but he always helps put things into perspective. After a not so amazing meeting, I can trust that he’ll call me with words of wisdom.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

A clear example at the time we’re speaking is the US Postal Service. I do not believe a service that provides such a meaningful purpose to so many people should be disrupted. There are certain systems and structures that when disrupted may improve the lives of the majority of those affected. If that is not the case — if disruption will not lead to bettering the lives of those benefitting from those systems or structures — then I believe disruption is far from positive.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

“Keep Going.” — A former client in the podcast space

I was speaking with a former client who is an entrepreneur herself and told her how doubtful I had been feeling that day. She said two simple words: keep going. Her belief in me was enough to get me moving. Often, you need to lean on those around you to remember you have more of yourself to give.

“Better an oops than a what if.” — ShrinkChicks

One of my favorite podcasts is led by two therapists who truly tell it like it is. Their Instagram by the same name featured this quote. I love this quote in all its variations. I believe in pursuing those things that are worthy to you even if you fail. In my mind, it’s not a failure if you learn or grow, despite how others may see it.

“Don’t try to win over the haters; you are not a jackass whisperer.”

This is a quote from Brené Brown’s book, Daring Greatly. I listened to this book on Audible while walking my dog around the neighborhood as a way to take a break from work. This book inspired me in so many ways, mainly to work on being my most authentic self. You truly cannot please everyone. That’s a life lesson that’s been tough but important for me to learn. I’ve also decided I will not willingly work with assholes. If someone shows me they are negative or a jackass, I won’t take their money or advice even if they want me to have it no strings attached.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

We really hope to introduce more parties from the podcast space into the podcasting platform; sponsors, studios, editors, etc. Beyond podcasting, we’ve had companies approach us in different industries who are looking to use Wildcasts’ platform and adapt it to their own industry, so we’re also looking to partner with those outside of podcasting.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

I think it’s hard to be taken as seriously and perceived as competent and confident versus cocky. Most of the podcast networks are run by men and it’s difficult to come across as persuasive without seeming nagging or annoying, a couple adjectives mainly used to describe women. I’m also in my late 20’s, so the youth factor definitely doesn’t make it any easier!

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

I mentioned ShrinkChicks before, but the two MFTs and their manager behind the podcast have really inspired me lately. Anytime I need a pick me up or want to feel like I’m listening to friends who truly understand me, I turn on their podcast. The other day, I had a terrible meeting with a potential partner. I was really discouraged afterward and turned on their podcast. Almost immediately, I felt a new energy to keep going. I keep a list of things like the ShrinkChicks podcast that I can return to and revisit when I’m feeling unmotivated. This list has saved me from breaking down and giving up multiple times!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Being human is not hard because you’re doing it wrong, it’s hard because you’re doing it right. — Glennon Doyle

We so often think that if we’re on the right path it will be easy and natural. It’s been important for me to realize, especially in the last few years, that most things worth doing are actually incredibly difficult. And that’s OK!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I hope that by introducing Wildcast, our guests, podcasters, and all those within the podcast industry can collaborate and spread ideas that truly make a difference in someone’s life. There are several podcasts that have made a difference in mine. Right now, I think providing content that is useful for students during the coronavirus as well as content that focuses on the most accurately sourced news information would be amazingly helpful to podcast listeners who can turn to these podcasts as free resources to combat stress and anxiety and to further their knowledge to ultimately change the world.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can follow Wildcast on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at @gowildcast. You can also visit our site at gowildcast.com!

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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