The Dollonds had patented a lens design that was not theirs, and ruined many craftsmen. Using the prestige of being Rittenhouse's apprentice, secures work in optician workshops who were attempting to compete with the Dollonds and thus more likely to grasp at any chance to get ahead. Jacob's goal was to gather enough knowledge from different craftsmen to create a successful business in the Americas. He believed that the British had an unfair monopoly because they would not share their secrets, and he was just one of a great many industrial spies.
While he openly proclaimed Rittenhouse as his master for his "normal" job, he had other journeyman positions under different personas. Jacob grew to love the game, the subterfuge and suaveness required for multiple identities and the rush of perfecting his skills at the expense of other, lesser craftsmen.