Ben ParrNew York, New York, United States
Ben Parr is President and Co-Founder of Octane AI, the all-in-one platform for engaging quizzes, data collection, and personalized Facebook Messenger and SMS automation. Thousands of Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants use Octane AI to connect, convert, and retain customers by personalizing the customer journey and giving customers the confidence to purchase. Our vision is to build a more humanized and personalized shopping experience for all. Parr is the author of the best-selling book "Captivology: The Science of Capturing People's Attention", named the top marketing book of 2015 by Strategy+Business Magazine. He sits on the board of directors of Samasource, whose mission is to reduce global poverty through impact sourcing and outsourcing digital work. Previously, Parr was managing director of DominateFund and Co-Editor and Editor-at-Large of Mashable, where he wrote more than 2,400 articles on technology, media, and startups. He is a member of the Forbes 30 Under 30. Ben is an alum of Northwestern University.
Co-founder and President
Octane AI
May 2016 - Current
I lead Octane AI’s partnerships, operations, and marketing.Octane AI is the Facebook Messenger & SMS marketing automation platform for ecommerce brands. Octane AI provides customer acquisition, advertising, retargeting, and customer support tools that drive 80%+ open rates, 2x increase in ROAS, and 9x better CTRs. 1,000+ top brands use Octane AI, including GoPro, Proactiv, Royal Caribbean, CoverFX, Summersalt, Maroon 5, and Warner Music Group.Octane AI has raised $4m from General Catalyst, Boost VC, M Ventures, former Evernote CEO Phil Libin, Hearsay Systems CEO Clara Shih, and more.
Member of the Board of Directors
Mar 2017 - Current
Samasource specializes in providing data solutions like data verification, machine learning and content moderation. We harness the power of the digital economy to lift people out of poverty by providing work that pays a living wage in places with high rates of unemployment. We call that Impact Sourcing.
Mar 2015 - Current
A book on the science and psychology of attention; why we pay attention to certain people, products, companies and ideas; and how to capture, maintain, and grow attention. Analyzed over 1,000 research studies in psychology, neurology, communications, and economics, and interviewed dozens of thought leaders including Sheryl Sandberg, Steven Soderbergh, and David Copperfield to form the thesis of the book. Captivology has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Success Magazine, Forbes, Business Insider, USA Today, The Financial Times, and other publications. The book was named the best marketing book of 2015 by Strategy+Business Magazine.ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY:
Keynote Speaker
Worldwide Speakers Group
2015 - Current
I speak on behavioral economics, marketing, attention, media, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship to audiences large and small. Expect fireworks and confetti (literally)! Direct booking: Bill Hart -- bhart@wwsg.comSpeaker
Inc. Magazine
2014 - Current
I write about business, technology, media, and entrepreneurship. Check out my column at
Ascent Leadership Fellow
Ascent Leadership Networks, LLC
Nov 2018 - Apr 2019
The Ascent Fellowship, led by former World Economic Forum and Spencer Stuart COO Kevin Steinberg and founded by former WEF executives, is a cohort-based program that brings together carefully-selected executive peers for a nine month engagement focused on understanding how industry, technology and societal disruptions will affect them and their organizations. Each Fellowship includes three 3-to 4-day modules over the course of nine months, The residential modules focus on particular leadership needs and are tailored to each cohort. Developed in collaboration with global partners, each module delivers forward-thinking and diverse perspectives on critical curriculum topics.
Advisory Board Member
Feb 2015 - May 2018
I advise Europe's largest airline on growth, marketing and startups as a member of Lufthansa's innovation advisory board and innovation hub.
Ustream, an IBM Company
2013 - Jan 2016
I advised Ustream and its CEO on marketing and media strategy. Acquired in 2016 by IBM.
Co-founder & Managing Partner
2013 - 2016
An early-stage venture capital firm that coaches entrepreneurs on marketing, media & customer acquisition. We mentor our portfolio companies and help them develop their marketing plans, build relationships with journalists, and navigate the challenges of building successful multi-million dollar organizations. Investors in uBeam, Shots, Enplug, Mingyian, Graft Concepts (acquired by Novatel Wireless), and more.
CNET Columnist & Commentator
CBS Interactive
Feb 2012 - Jul 2013
Started a column at CNET calledThe Social Analyst. Analyzed the key companies, trends and players powering the tech and social media universe, from the smallest startups to tech giants.
May 2011 - Nov 2011
Opened Mashable's Silicon Valley office, co-managed Mashable's editorial team, and helped grow the company from 5 million to 50 million page views and from <10 to 50+ employees.Wrote more than 2,400 articles, interviewed everyone from Ashton Kutcher to Mark Zuckerberg, and built extensive networks in technology, entertainment, and media.
Sep 2009 - May 2011
Oversaw and developed west coast and Silicon Valley editorial.
Associate Editor
Mar 2009 - Sep 2009
Brought everything social media, web, and startup-related to the masses.
Aug 2008 - Mar 2009
Wrote analysis articles on social media, Internet trends, and entrepreneurship.
Interactive Content Manager
Veritas Health
Jun 2008 - Mar 2009
I oversaw Veritas Health's doctor-written health content, its web growth strategy, and helped implement new features. I was part product manager, part project manager, part designer and part engineer.
Community Assistant
Northwestern University
Sep 2006 - Mar 2008
Assisted freshmen residents of university housing as a mentor, disciplinary, advisor, and friend.
United States House of Representatives, Congressman Jerry Weller
Jun 2005 - Aug 2005
Legislative research, constituent management and service, giving tours, administrative duties, taking in the D.C. culture.
Research Assistant
UC Santa Barbara
Jun 2002 - Aug 2002
Joined UCSB's Research Mentorship Program between my sophomore and junior year of high school. Assisted in the development of a musical artificial intelligence that could compose harmonic music automatically.Cool fact: If you search the UCSB library, you will find the thesis paper I wrote on the project.
Northwestern University
B.A., Science in Human Culture, Political Science, Business Institutions Program (Minor)
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