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Ben Parr

Award-Winning Journalist; Author; Entrepreneur; Investor; Expert on the Science of Attention; Silicon Valley Insider

Travels From:
California
Fee Range:
$15,000 - $25,000
Topics:
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Business | Innovation | Science & Technology | Unique Ideas | WWSG Favorites

Through his unique experience and access as a leading technology writer/prognosticator, venture capitalist, and Silicon Valley insider, Ben has coached dozens of young startups, as well as Fortune 500 corporations, on how to get attention for their products and services, and how to stay ahead of the curve. Ben was named one of the top ten tech journalists in the world by Say Media, and named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2012.

Featured Videos

The Startup Conference: Captivology, How to Capture the ...

Authors at Google: Ben Parr

Ben Parr Interview: How to Get People's Attention

Speaker Resources

Through his unique experience and access as a leading technology writer/prognosticator, venture capitalist, and Silicon Valley insider, Ben has coached dozens of young startups, as well as Fortune 500 corporations, on how to get attention for their products and services, and how to stay ahead of the curve. Ben was named one of the top ten tech journalists in the world by Say Media, and named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2012.

Ben's expertise in marketing, customer and user acquisition, viral products and garnering press attention has served his clients well as Co-Founder and Managing Partner of venture capital firm, DominateFund. This expertise, along with his passion and knowledge of behavioral economics, human culture, and technological and entrepreneurial trends are the reasons so many organizations and readers turn to him for advice and insight. As the former Co-Editor and Editor-at-Large of Mashable, Ben has written more than 2,400 articles on social media and technology, managed Mashable's editorial team, and interviewed everyone from Ashton Kutcher to Mark Zuckerberg.

Ben's new book, Captivology: The Science of Capturing People's Attention, dives into the science of attention and why we pay attention to certain people, products, companies and ideas. In his fascinating and engaging talks, Ben shares with audiences many of these themes, and how they, too, can capture, retain, and capitalize on the attention they garner from their target markets.

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    Tech Caucus 1/27: Can Twitter Solve Its Troubles? And Who Are Tech’s Underrated Entrepreneurs?

    (The Tech Caucus) – Welcome back to The Tech Caucus, the newsletter where I poll tech’s leading investors, entrepreneurs, and journalists on what’s important in tech.

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    Best Business Books 2015: Marketing

    Captivology is the best marketing book of the year not only because it contains deep insights, but also because it is immensely enjoyable.

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    The Top 10 People to Know in Silicon Valley

    (Huffington Post) – When it comes to navigating the difficult waters of Silicon Valley, it is important to know who the big movers and shakers in the industry are.

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    Q&A: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention

    (BizBash) – Author, journalist, and venture capitalist Ben Parr shares his three stages of attention and seven captivation triggers that can be used at your next event.

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    Getting Attention: The Science of Being Captivating Online

    (Social Media Examiner) – In this episode I interview Ben Parr, the former co-editor for Mashable. He’s also the co-founder of DominateFund—invest in great companies. His new book is calledCaptivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention.

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    The Three Qualities Twitter’s Next CEO Must Have

    By Ben Parr

    (Tech Crunch) – Perhaps you’ve heard there’s a job opening over at Twitter. 

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    12 Proven Strategies to Make Your Presentations More Captivating

    By Ben Parr

    (Inc.) – Here are some proven tips to make your next speech more attention-grabbing.

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    6 Predictions for Alphabet and the New Google

    By Ben Parr

    (Inc.) – What can we expect from Alphabet and the next Google? While the dust is still settling, I have a few predictions about how each will evolve under the new structure.

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    7 Tips From Author Ben Parr’s “Captivology” On Grabbing Digital Attention

    (Forbes) – In today’s information-overloaded society, attention is the modern currency, says Ben Parr, author of new book Captivology. And since getting that attention is rare and elusive, Parr decided to delve into the deep science of attention, talking with experts on how  and why our minds pay heed to some events or people instead of others.

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    Being the Last Speaker at an Event Sucks—Unless You Tear It Up Like This

    (Contently) – Speaking at a conference in front of strangers isn’t easy, regardless of where you are in the lineup. Going first is tough since your speech sets the tone for the rest of the event. Giving a talk right before lunch and competing for attention with grumbling stomachs is always problematic. But last? Last is the worst. People are thinking about the drive home, the wine, whether they are getting a parking ticket.

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    Here’s one way to become a venture capitalist: be a journalist

    (Business Insider) – Sure, as TechCrunch put it, one path into venture capital is to wait for a partner to die.

    Another way, as TechCrunch has also shown us, is to be a journalist.

    Ryan Lawler is the latest journalist to join the venture capitalist ranks. He's leaving Tech Crunch to go to 500 Startups.

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    The Secret To Capturing People’s Attention In The Informational Age, According To Science

    (Medical Daily) – In the age of information, companies vie for people’s attention — media corporations like HBO or NBC tailor new TV shows to millennials; tech startups design products and apps that will garner long-term devotion (and investment of money). Everyone wants your attention, and it turns out there’s a specific way to capture it.

    In a new video, writer and entrepreneur Ben Parr, the author of Captivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention, explains the best way to capture an audience’s attention.

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    Fascinated by celebrities? You just need more friends

    This article was published in the June 2015 issue of WIRED magazine.

    By: Ben Parr

    Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and President Vladimir Putin were the top two global Google searches for individuals in 2014. Sorry! That’s a lie. It’d be nice if that were true, but of course it isn’t. The top two most searched-for living individuals last year in the UK were Ariana Grande and Pharrell Williams (both Americans, oddly). Yousafzai and Putin didn’t even make the top ten. 

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    The Secret To Capturing People’s Attention In The Informational Age, According To Science

    (Medical Daily) – In the age of information, companies vie for people’s attention — media corporations like HBO or NBC tailor new TV shows to millennials; tech startups design products and apps that will garner long-term devotion (and investment of money). Everyone wants your attention, and it turns out there’s a specific way to capture it.

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    Attention, please: Former Mashable editor turned VC Ben Parr on the science of what grabs us

    By Teresa Novellino

    (NYBJ) – At any given moment, masses of people are fixated on something, with the latest obsession being "Game of Thrones," Season 5, which as we’ve been breathlessly told over and over this week starts Sunday night on HBO.
    Did you ever wonder how stuff like that captures the attention of so many? So hasBenn Parr, a former co-editor and editor-at-large of Mashable and currently the cofounder of DominateFund. He gets into the science behind what we pay attention to and what we tune out in a book titledCaptivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention(HarperOne, March 2015)

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    The Top 30 Internet of Things Experts

    The most powerful voices in IoT and location-based technologies.  Ben Parr named in top 10 Internet of Things Experts.

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    GeekWire Radio: Expedia’s big move, Amazon’s new button, and ‘Captivology’ author Ben Parr on the science of attention

    By: Todd Bishop
    Do we have your attention?

    That’s our question on the GeekWire radio show this week, with our guest Ben Parr, the Managing Partner of venture capital firm DominateFund, former Mashable co-editor and the author of the new book, “Capitvology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention.”

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    Ben Parr: Why Facebook Is a Master in the Science of ‘Captivology’

    There is a real science to capturing a consumer's attention and Facebook has built it into the core of its product, said Ben Parr, author of 'Captivology.'

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    Meet the Man That’s Getting Everyone’s Attention

    He started his first gig as a lowly writer for rising tech blog Mashable back in 2008, but quickly rose the ranks to become editor-at-large in just three years’ time.

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    Ben Parr: How to Win Attention and Influence People

    Ben Parr is managing partner of San Francisco-based DominateFund, an early-stage venture capital firm. He explains that he wrote "Captivology" out of "necessity." In his world — that of technology and start-ups — attention is the difference between success and failure.

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    Former Princeton Native Captivates Audiences

    By: Goldie Currie
    In his book, Parr combines the latest research on attention with interviews with more than 50 scientists and visionaries — Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, film director Steven Soderbergh, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, New York Times bestselling author Susan Cain and many more — who have successfully brought their ideas, projects, companies and products to the forefront of cultural consciousness.

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    Ben Parr Wants Your Attention: Q&A With the Author of Captivology

    By: Katherine Dill

    (Forbes) Parr has devoted much of his career to grabbing eyeballs in various capacities, formerly as the co-editor of Mashable and now as cofounder of VC firm DominateFund. His author bio describes him as an “expert on attention.” But he’s careful to point out that Captivology is not a how-to for self-promoters.

    “It’s not about capturing attention for just yourself,” said Parr, “it’s about capturing attention for the great ideas, the great art, the great projects that you have. Everybody has some passion more people should see or notice.”

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    What President Obama and “President Fallon” Know About Social Media That the Rest of Us Need to Learn

    By: Don Kay

    (Vanity Fair) – …The talk began immediately after Bush’s tweet-up ended and was moderated by Vanity Fair West Coast executive editorKrista Smith, who welcomed Bush, Shira Lazar of What’s Trending, Andrew Adashekfrom Twitter and former Mashable co-editor (and author of the new book Captivology) Ben Parr to kick around just what social media means today and how it is changing the pop culture, entertainment and traditional media landscape.

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    Ben Parr Ranked #54 of Top-100 Social Media Power Influencers in 2015

    This marks the third year that StatSocial and Haydn Shaughnessy publish a list of Twitter users most influential in the realm of social media—that is, social media experts with a great following among people also interested in social media. Excluded from this list of the top-hundred influencers are journalists and actual employees of social media companies. We’ve published this annual list on Forbes.com for two years. Take a look below for this year’s list of movers and shakers.

In his signature keynote, Captivology author Ben Parr vividly brings the science of attention to life and demonstrates how anyone can capture attention for their passions and ideas. Parr explains why attention is the currency of the modern world, and that the people and brands who know how to command it are the ones who succeed.


Harnessing his entertaining, humorous, and participatory presentation style, Parr takes a deep dive into the seven “Captivation Triggers” that drive attention, why these behavioral and psychological phenomena capture our attention, and – most important — offers practical advice for how anybody can utilize the Captivation Triggers in daily life. Whether his audience is a room of schoolteachers or advertising executives, Parr gets the message across: everyone has the power to captivate others.


Parr is happy to customize this keynote to maximize relevancy to your audience.


In this brand-centric, customizable keynote, Captivology author, Ben Parr, reveals the secret science of how to make any brand more captivating. Drawing from his extensive research in psychology and behavioral economics, Parr explains how brands can harness the power of the seven “Captivation Triggers” to create more attention for their product launches, drive more traction for their marketing campaigns, and increase long-term positive brand recognition.


Utilizing his signature presentation style – engaging, funny, participatory, and zero bullet points – Parr reveals the secrets to creating the most captivating brand possible.


Predicting technology trends is a multi-trillion dollar business – just ask Apple and Google. It’s the key to staying ahead of the competition. In this futuristic talk, Ben discusses the technologies that will change the landscape of human nature over the next 5, 10, 20 and 50 years. As an investor, journalist, author and Silicon Valley icon, Ben has unique insight and access to the technologies that are going to revolutionize computing, transportation, medicine, education and every aspect of our lives.


In this motivational talk, Ben inspires audiences to change the world by following the path of entrepreneurship. He draws from his experiences as an award-winning journalist (Co-Editor of Mashable), investor (Managing Partner, DominateFund), author (Captivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention), and entrepreneur to discuss the reality of what it takes to change the world, his experiences with entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, and his keys to entrepreneurial success.


Up to a 60 minute on-stage dialogue and open Q&A between Ben, the interviewer (which we would be happy to assist you in selecting), and your attendees.  The interview format offers tremendous control over the content of the appearance and allows for a more unique and highly interactive experience for your attendees.  Ben will answer any question that comes his way, including insights from his book Captivology, his experience as an award-winning journalist, and his insightful opinions on the future of technology, business, and media. We are available to assist with the interview format and content to help you create a dynamic and thought provoking event for your audience.


Ben – former Editor of Mashable — is a prolific interviewer and moderator, and well versed in a wide variety of topics, including:  technology, marketing, behavioral economics, entrepreneurship, and many more. He has a keen ability to ask pointed questions, dig deep, keep things interesting – and flowing, and engage the audience.



  • Captivology in Advertising

  • Captivology for Students: How to Make Your Future Career More Captivating

  • Captivology for the Self

  • Captivology for Entertainers

  • The Future of Media

  • The Future of Technology: What to Expect in the Next 5, 10, 20 and 50 Years

  • The Future of Entrepreneurship


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  • "Parr sits at the intersection of technology, culture and productivity…"

  • "A true visionary!"

  • "An incredibly engaging speaker. His energy, wit and quick thinking make his session exciting, thought-provoking and informative. - and that's the point. He believes that capturing attention is a science and that we can all learn to engage our audiences effectively."