EP (5) Dan Jacob: Connecting people to ideas and technology that's changing the world

Photo by: Camila Gargantini

Photo by: Camila Gargantini

There have been a few authors in my life that have had a profound impact on the way I think and see the world; but one of my favourite writers has to be Malcolm Gladwell

In one of his books, he speaks directly about different types of people and classifies them into categories; one of those being a Connector. I personally align with that "type" of individual, and my latest guest, Dan, is 100% a connector and ideas man.

He's everybody's best friend. An all around great guy. Passionate about uniting people in not only the business world; but his personal life and he's genuinely driven to help other's succeed.

Dan is the type of individual that can take an idea and put it into action. This may sound like a simple feat; but how many people do you know in your life that talk about wanting to make change, or start a business, or take a class and yet they never seem to do it. All they seem to do is TALK about it.

That's not Dan. He's focused on action. And in this awesome interview, he breaks down some key ways that you can hold yourself accountable to a goal you want to achieve.

It all comes down to discipline and recognizing that something has got to 'give' if you want to achieve big things. And although he currently works for a startup, he's not of the mindset that you have to work 80+ hours a week. 

Reality check.

He believes that behaviour is absurd and it will surely lead to burnout; because if you're not taking care of yourself first, you aren't any good to anyone.

If you looked at Dan's resume, you'd wonder how someone so young could achieve such greatness in a very short time (he's in his 30's, guys) and still be so incredibly humble about it all. For that he credits his ability to seize opportunities when they present themselves. 

Have a plan. Be focused. Execute.

Dan and I discuss everything from growing up in a household of women and how that has helped to shape his worldly views; why he really focuses on playing to his strengths; what it was like making a transition from full-time entrepreneur to being an employee again for a growing Canadian start-up; his instrumental involvement with TED.com and TEDxToronto and so much more.

If you have Dan - or a person like Dan in your corner, count yourself in great company!

Dan Jacob and Michael Phelps at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit, 2016

Dan Jacob and Michael Phelps at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit, 2016

Dan ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange

Dan ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange


  • What was your experience like at the Forbes Under 30 summit this year? Highlights? New Ideas that got you excited?
  • Tell me about meeting and running with Michael Phelps?
  • What was it like growing up in a household of women, because you have a very interesting sibling dynamic...
  • How did you end up being a co-founder of TEDxToronto and what were the steps you took to get it off the ground?
  • The most profound talk that you heard at one of your TEDxToronto events and why did it leave such a lasting impact on you?
  • Why do you believe TEDxToronto became such a success? 
  • So often people start initiatives, but that's all they do- talk about ideas. What's your strategy when you want to take an idea and put it into action?
  • Are there certain skills that you must have to be a builder? (and I'm not talking about building a house, people).
  • Explain what it's been like transitioning from full time entrepreneur, to Growth Manager for a growing Canadian startup?
  • What makes Breather a game changer when it comes to how we view space?
  • And so much more...


  • What company Dan started at after University and how that experience really paved the path for other opportunities in his life
  • What traveling through South America taught him about his life
  • Why he's a big believer in balance and taking care of yourself first
  • How his mom and dad taught him a lot about the business world and going after what you want
  • Why he leans towards hiring women in everything he creates
  • His experience with starting and growing an awesome community and then the process he went through when he decided to let it go and start anew
  • Why he believed TEDxToronto became such a success
  • His strategy for taking an idea and putting it into action (you won't want to miss this)
  • Why time is the most valuable thing we have and the advice he was given about friends, family and work
  • What he's up to in his new role as Growth Manager for Breather in Toronto and his idea of space
  • Why he's such an ideas man and connector - how that came to be
  • And so much more


CONNECT WITH dan + breather




Listen, subscribe, and leave a review on: iTunes or SoundCloud.

Feel inspired? If you know anyone who would enjoy this episode, please share this link with them. The more inspired people our world has, the happier a place it will be. Just click the share button on the left side of the screen and let's spread these stories and messages. Feel free to leave a comment below and share your thoughts- I'd love to know what you think.



DTN Editor: James Findlay