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Former Princeton Native Captivates Audiences

Ben Parr

Looking for a way to capture the attention of others? You just might find out how to in Princeton native Ben Parr’s new book, “Captivology.”

Set to launch Tuesday, March 3, Parr, who now resides in San Francisco, Calif., explores the science and psychology of attention, and how to utilize the knowledge to capture, maintain and grow the attention of others.

“I wrote ‘Captivology’ because attention is the fundamental currency of the modern economy,” he said. “Local businesses must capture the attention of customers to thrive. Teachers need to captivate their students for them to be successful. And parents need to keep the attention of their kids to get anything done.”

Parr first became interested in the subject of attention when studying the science in human culture at Northwestern University. His studies shaped his frame of reference and led him to his first job as an editor for “Mashable,” a social media news website that covers trends and news on hundreds of social networks.

“I became fascinated by the topic of attention and its impact on our economy and culture,” he said.

When countless start-ups in Silicon Valley began seeking out Parr’s advice on various topics — such as how to talk to journalists, how to create a go-to market strategy or how to partner with celebrities — that’s when everything clicked.

“I knew this was a subject that deserved two years of my time,” he said. “I simply had to write this book. There was so much amazing research on the subject, but nobody had ever put it together into one cohesive book that was accessible to the masses. That is what ‘Captivology’ represents.”

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.

Aside from Parr’s new book, his list of accomplishments are extensive. He is co-founder and managing partner of DominateFund; was co-editor and editor-at-large of “Mashable;” a columnist for CNET; has been name Forbes “30 under 30,” was named one of the Top 10 tech journalists in the work by Say Media and has been featured in a variety of media including CNBC, CNN, Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

Through all that he’s achieved, however, Parr prefers to steer away from the word “succeeded” and focus more on the path he’s on that has allowed him to help so many others.

“I firmly believe ‘Captivology’ will change millions of lives for the better, but I am proud of how far I’ve gone since I left Princeton High School. I couldn’t have done it without the great teachers and mentors I had in Princeton — teachers like Elaine McVety, my Scoutmaster Norm Harris and, of course, my parents,” he said.

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