Jay Acunzo Profile

  • An evangelist for breaking away from conventional business wisdom, Acunzo is the founder and creator of the award-winning podcast Unthinkable, which he grew from a single podcast into a media empire within a year.

  • Acunzo bridges both the creative start-up world and corporate cultures, having built his career as a digital media strategist for Google, ESPN, Hubspot, and NextView.

  • Hailed as an effective and talented storyteller, Acunzo is the author of Breaking the Wheel, a paradigm-shifting work on creativity, marketing, and strategy.
  • Award-winning podcaster and digital media strategist, Jay Acunzo works with brands to be exceptional in ways that matter. Acunzo is the founder and creator of the podcast Unthinkable and the podcast incubator, Unthinkable Media. He honed his marketing talent as a content marketer and strategist for Google, ESPN, Hubspot, and NextView.

    Acunzo launched Unthinkable Media as a single podcast in 2016, and in just one year grew it into an empire producing six different series with hundreds of thousands of downloads. His flagship podcast explores how brands are going against wisdom and acting on rarely considered ideas to become rising stars, particularly in the B2B sector.

    He is the co-founder of Boston Content, the northeast’s largest community of content creators, consisting of more than 2,000 members. Acunzo’s own creative work and thought leadership have been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, FastCompany,and Forbes. His recent book Breaking the Wheel has been critically acclaimed as “completely paradigm shifting.”

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      Jay Acunzo is waging war on conventional thinking. As a digital media strategist at Google, he was responsible for pushing marketing executives and practitioners into the digital age more rapidly, in ways that benefitted both companies and careers. He held multiple leadership positions at high-growth tech startups, including Head of Content at HubSpot, and served as Vice President of Brand and Community at the venture capital firm NextView. On the side, Jay created the award-winning podcast, Unthinkable, and co-founded Boston Content, the northeast’s largest community of content creators and marketers.

      Courses at Harvard Business School have cited Jay’s work, as well as writers at the New York Times, the Washington Post, FastCompany, Forbes, and more. He has been called a “creative savant” by Salesforce and named to the city of Boston’s “50 on Fire” list.

      Today, Jay is the founder of Unthinkable Media, which works with fast-growing startups and challenger brands to create entertaining B2B shows. In a world where “storyteller” has become a buzzword, Jay actually understands how to tell great stories — stories that entertain, surprise, teach, and above all, push people beyond conventional thinking so they can do their best work. His book, Break the Wheel: Question Best Practices, Hone Your Intuition, and Do Your Best Work, inspires others to do precisely that.

      With an uncanny knack for connecting quickly with warmth and humor, plus years of practical relevance and experience (Google, ESPN, HubSpot, NextView VC; current author and documentary host / producer), Jay Acunzo delivers keynotes that move people to action. Whether it’s with 40 global brand executives, 400 fire chiefs, or 4,000 fired up marketers, Jay challenges attendees to break from conventional thinking and supposed “best practices” in a way that drives more significant results for companies and careers alike.

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    Jay Acunzo's Speech Descriptions

    In a hypercompetitive market, differentiating you and your company is key. Skilled digital media strategist, Jay Acunzo offers you a framework for tapping into your own unique solutions rather than settling for “best practices” that the masses are following. An engrossing storyteller versed in both corporate culture and the startup world, Acunzo bridges several generations, inspiring and equipping audiences to reconsider their approach to thinking and acting differently.

    BREAK THE WHEEL: How to Escape Conventional Thinking to Hone Your Intuition and Do Your Best Work
    We live in a world flooding with best practices, conventional wisdom, and trendy tactics. Every day, dozens of supposed “right” answers both internally and externally promise that they will deliver our best results. It’s all we can do to simply keep up, let alone take control, get proactive, and finally do our best work. It’s like we’re trapped. We’re stuck on this always-spinning wheel of reactive decisions and commodity work, and this wheel leads straight to the one place we don’t want our companies or careers to be: average.

    It’s time to escape this cycle. It’s time to break the wheel.

    In this fast-paced, inspiring talk, award-winning documentary host and former Google and startup brand-builder Jay Acunzo will hand attendees a sledgehammer. They’ll learn how to find clarity more quickly among the noise, cutting through past precedents and buzzy trends that only create sameness in their niche. Through science and story, Jay will share a framework to more successfully think for yourself when surrounded by conventional thinking. This isn’t about being a rebel. It’s about driving real results for companies and careers alike. In the end, attendees will become the welcome exceptions to the status quo.

    While everyone around them merely survives, they’ll know how to thrive. Remember: Finding "best practices" isn’t the goal. Finding the best approach for you is. Jay’s presentation will inspire and empower people to do exactly that.

    In this talk, attendees will learn:

    -The psychological barriers to making good decisions at work.
    -The one behavior change that can help them overcome these barriers.
    -Why this change can make creativity feel more logical than lofty.
    -How to create a personal, team-wide, or company-wide “decision-making filter” to more quickly and confidently find the best approach in each new situation.

    What People are Saying about Seeing Jay Speak

    Rating Entries

    An Original Thinker & Dynamic Presenter
    “Jay is among the top speakers at Content Marketing World every year…each time we ask him back, the scores come back better and better. An original thinker and dynamic presenter, Jay is becoming one of the “must-see” speakers at any marketing and communication event.”

    -CEO, Content Marketing Institute

    We’d Have Jay Back in a Heartbeat!
    “Jay’s presentation was perfect for our modern B2B marketing team. He put forethought in to understanding our team and creating a presentation to fit the context of our marketing off-site. We could not be more pleased with the outcome and content today and would have Jay back in a heartbeat!”

    -Senior Marketing Manager, Blackbaud

    Best Session I’ve Seen in 25 Years!
    “Jay’s was the best session I’ve ever attended in my 25 years of conferences! (I grew up watching my parents do keynotes.) I had so much energy and aspiration walking out of there!”

    -Event Attendee, Marketo Marketing Nation Summit

    Exceeded expectations!
    “Jay is a dynamic, engaging, and smart speaker who keeps the audience fascinated and wanting more. I invited Jay to speak at our CMO Confessions event, and he exceeded expectations! He delivered a clear message, included simple examples, and engaged the audience with great questions. The event sold out and the feedback was all 5 stars.”

    -CMO, Animatron

    Got the Party Started Right!
    “Jay got the party started right! The keynote set the right tone and the right energy for the conference and absolutely had the solid takeaways our attendees were there to receive. The fact that our attendees flocked to Jay’s breakout session after the keynote says more about its success than I ever could.”

    -Co-Chair, SMPS Southern Regional Conference

    Connects to the Audience in a Real Way
    “The first thing I heard at the conclusion of Jay’s presentation was that attendees were looking at things from a different perspective. I can’t say enough about Jay’s presentation! He really knocked it out of the park. He connects to the audience in a real way, making it a conversation, not a speech. You feel involved and drawn into his stories.”

    -Managing Partner, The Brand Establishment

    A+ Speaker!
    “Just the right amount of humor, energy on stage, and buzz created among the audience. I’d definitely recommend him for our audience again and to any other conference that wants an A+ speaker!”

    -Marketing Manager, CohereOne

    He Delivered, and Then Some
    “Jay was the opening keynote at our first-ever internal marketing knowledge exchange. Everything we were hoping for, he delivered, and then some. He clearly had spent time looking into our brand, he was funny and kept the audience captivated, and above all else, he was truly inspirational. The crowd kept nodding throughout, and our team approached me after to say how much they loved the presentation.”

    -Corporate Communications, PTC

    They Have Their Marching Orders for the Coming Year
    “Jay’s energy and approach is infectious and entertaining, leaving your attendees with a feeling that they learned a few valuable things that get them thinking for both the short and long term. A few told us they now had their marching orders for the coming year. He was a huge hit.”

    -VP of Marketing, PrismHR

    Engaging, Funny, and Real
    “I would definitely recommend Jay to any event organizer who is looking for something fresh and different for their event. Besides the content, Jay had our audience laughing. Many of our guests attend multiple events per year, in which they see the same old topics and presentations. Jay’s presentation not only has quality content and a great message, but his performance is engaging, funny, and real.”

    -Marketing Manager, ZoomInfo

    I Can’t Wait to Work with Jay Again
    “From our initial interaction months before the event, to his follow-up with attendees who had questions, he demonstrated his true desire to understand our audience and deliver an amazing experience. His presentation and examples were spot on and engaging to watch and he truly gave our audience tons to think about. I can’t wait to work with Jay again.”

    -CEO, Brand ManageCamp

    We’ve Even Used the Lessons with a Larger Client
    “Everyone at the event and around our organization continues to reference several of Jay’s key takeaways in our work. We’ve even used the lessons when meeting with a larger client, a challenger brand looking to make a push for #1. The keynote was so well received.”

    -Associate Director, Rise Interactive

    Tailors Presentation to the Audience’s Needs
    “Jay Acunzo is relevant, thought-provoking, and entertaining. His passion for being different while also creating value shines in his keynote address. While Jay is a sought after speaker with a big resume of experience, he is also approachable and eager to tailor his presentations to the audience’s needs. He provides realistic and actionable takeaways that all levels of professionals want to implement.”

    -Head of Marketing, Beck Technology

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    Books by Jay Acunzo:

    Break the Wheel

    Break the Wheel is a book about making the best possible decisions in your situation, regardless of the best practice. Through refreshing stories and surprising studies, author Jay Acunzo explores what it takes to think for yourself in the face of conventional thinking.

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