Reading List: Captivology

UPDATED: September 29, 2015
PUBLISHED: February 21, 2015

Thanks to technology, we have easy access to copious amounts of information, amusement and global connectivity. But that access comes at a cost, writes tech journalist and entrepreneur Ben Parr. As a result of our 24/7 world, our attention spans have diminished, making it more difficult for individuals and companies to be noticed. The “science” of captivology explains how to rise above the noise to capture and hold on to attention for your brand, company, idea or cause. Parr amiably explains the three stages of attention and seven captivation triggers that can save a company or idea from disappearing into oblivion. These triggers include:

• Automaticity: Exploiting compulsive responses to specific sensory cues such as colors, symbols and sounds.

• Framing: Adapting to or changing another’s view of the world to get his attention.

• Disruption: Violating people’s expectations to redirect their attention.

• Mystery: Creating uncertainty and suspense to keep an audience intrigued.

Showing how to implement each trigger, Parr supports his reasoning with scientific studies, interviews with individual attention-grabbers and the examples of companies such as Airbnb, Kickstarter and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He also ties in his personal experiences as co-founder of a venture capital firm. Throughout Captivology, Parr keeps readers engaged, amused and focused, proving that the science of captivology works.

by Ben Parr
March; HarperOne; $27.99