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Connecting people, building community, and learning from super connectors :: with Weston Woodward and Sol Cates

In this episode of Ventures, my guests Weston Woodward (https://www.linkedin.com/in/westonwoodward/), Sol Cates (https://www.linkedin.com/in/solcates/), and I discuss community building from a personal, startup, and local city perspective. We talk about how to listen and ask questions, effectively connect people to help raise the tide for everyone, advice for startup founders, and thoughts about social media and the future of communication in the Web 3.0 era.

You can watch this episode below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts (search for “Ventures”).


In this episode we cover the following:

1:15 - Sol introduction of Weston

2:37 - Weston’s background and story - personal mission: “connect people to make the world a better place”

4:28 - Was Weston a super connect / outgoing person as a kid?

5:34 - Sol background and story, was he always a super connector?

9:51 - Because Weston moved around so much growing up, he “became a chameleon”.

10:12 - What changed during the pandemic for Weston for his work?

12:51 - Sol’s thoughts on the above question for him.

13:45 - Weston’s thoughts on “What makes a good founder?” (Thoughts on being Abundant minded)

15:07 - Sol’s thoughts on what makes a good founder.

15:51 - Temptations to pack the zoom meeting calendar during the pandemic, which is problematic. What life lessons have been learned during this season?

18:56 - What is Weston “producing”? (Super connector as producer)

19:42 - Connecting as a game. Putting players together who have win/win scenarios to solve a problem.

22:53 - Looking for ideas for SaaS companies where people are creating spreadsheets, thinking about building SaaS in a Web 3.0 fashion.

23:55 - What are Weston’s and Sol’s thoughts on the Web 3.0 world?

25:30 - The story of Austin, TX.

28:18 - What are the elements of a healthy and unhealthy startup community?

32:24 - Thoughts on upwards of 50% of people in the US who don’t have friends they can call.

33:52 - The good, bad, and the ugly about Web 2.0 social media.

35:05 - What’s Weston’s general take on social media?

36:08 - Sol’s comments on how the counterterrorism community looks for people who may be high-risk.

37:04 - Listening and connecting people on Social Media. How does Weston use it? (“I’ll scroll through...and see if people need anything”)

38:39 - The impossible job of a founder. Some thoughts and advice for founders.

40:55 - How does Weston make a living?

42:47 - What are Sol’s thoughts and advice for founders to stay focused.

44:52 - Advice for founders (and anyone) to be better connectors?

48:08 - What projects/questions are Weston and Sol working on?

51:13 - An uptick in the “good guys” starting to win...i.e. those who are abundant minded.

51:48 - Prota Ventures’ *true north* of Human Flourishing

53:04 - Advice for founders building community around their product/service?

57:41 - Advice for government officials and people working in local areas to build a startup ecosystem.

59:50 - Where can people find Weston and Sol online? https://www.linkedin.com/in/westonwoodward/ // https://www.linkedin.com/in/solcates/