Rebekah Campbell is not that different from many young women or, for that matter, men. Fear of failure haunts her. She is terrified by a lot of things — even a TED talk, for example. Last month, she agonized over one, fearing she “would mess up” or “that the audience would boo me off stage,” with Chris Anderson watching from the front row.
What helps her overcome this great fear is DRIVE, in capital letters. That is, perhaps, what makes her go anywhere, and to any length, to conquer the fear of failure.
She’s just re-inventing Posse.com, the fan-aggregating music marketing firm she started nearly two years ago and shuttered not too long ago. She just can’t get around to the day job she could easily find.
Campbell’s new Posse is to be unveiled June 12 but it lets early users sign in for a tease. So, what could it be?
It’s being described as a “social media game created to make people’s real worlds better.” Or try another — “a combination of curation, discovery, social commerce and fun.”
“We’re incredibly excited about the new site,” says Campbell. “The process of getting to this stage has been intense, we’ve tried and failed and learned and dreamed and worked very hard and now we can’t wait for people to use it.”
Campbell has won $1.2 million in new funding, on top of $1.5 million it raised in 2010 and $250,000 in the form of an Australian government grant. The new Posse has the backing of some high-profile investors. They include Bill Tai (Twitter, Tango and Scribd), who led the latest round of funding, and the founders of E-Bay and Remarq. Also, Lars Rasmussen (Google Maps creator and Facebook’s current director of engineering) sits on Posse’s board and was key in hiring Posse’s team of six Sydney engineers led by ex-Google Wave lead Alex North.
Posse is tapping some of its old DNA — the ability, for example, to connect consumers with producers. Just as it linked music fans with concert organisers and bands, Posse seeks to connect retailers with customers and their friends. To do so, it has embraced gamification — an approach that has been embraced by such dissimilar organisations as the World Bank and the U.S. Army, not to mention corporate entities.
“It’s been exciting to watch Posse evolve their model over the past few months. They’ve created a highly original and fun solution to the consumer recommendation problem – which is a hot space right now. I’m looking forward to seeing it take off,” said Tai, an angel investor whose investments have led to 19 initial public offerings.
Posse will re-launch on June 12. For early access click here.