Doug Jaeger would like you to eat as many Snickers bars, Doritos and bags of trail mix as you want… or can. And he may time you with a stopwatch. No, he's not a competitive eater, but instead a marketingwhiz. Named to Brandweek's Marketers of the Next Generation and Business 2.0's "Five to Watch," Jaeger has been making waves in New York for over ten years. And that artery-busting diet he has you on? That's just part of one of his revolutionary creative competitions that have, in part, made him famous. "I try not to give myself too much credit," says the laid-back but amped-full-of-ideas Jaeger, "I fear it might make me lazy."
Hardly. Now the proud owner and founder of thehappycorp global, a creative services company, it took years of corporate gigs at big wig firms such as TBWA\Chiat\day for Jaeger to branch out on his own. "When I came up with the name for the company I was very miserable," explains Jaeger. "I was working at one of the largest advertising firms, traveling the globe, but working on projects that did very little for me or for the world at large. Thehappycorp as a place and environment was designed to allow artists and creative people to help brands and companies that they care about succeed. Happiness for me is seeing this idea work its way into the marketplace." That creative whirlwind includes a website, lvhrd—an online magazine, a T-shirt company and signature events such as underground, the Master-Disaster Vending Machine Challenge and the Karaoke Showdown.
Just as diverse are Jaeger's taste in surroundings. "Neighborhoods for me are about the people that are drawn to it," says the East Villager who has also done duty in Park Slope, the Lower East Side and Nolita. "When I was living in Nolita, I liked observing the old Italian neighborhood mix with the new younger set. I witnessed a lot of new restaurants and stores open on Mulberry Street. I've also been witness to amazing block parties thrown by the Nolita Neighborhood Association. In the East Village, which is old and new to me, I've enjoyed exploring all the hidden restaurants as well as discovering how many people that I know that live within 3 blocks. Everyday I bump into somebody that I have worked with, been friends with, or in someway touched. It feels small."
Of course, when Jaeger needs his world open up he just can hop on his 2005 BMW R1150R Rockster motorcycle. "It feels like you are flying close to the ground," he says of what was once simply a more convenient way to get to work. "My business partner, a co-worker and my girlfriend also ride. We jokingly call ourselves the '56ers' based on our Spring Street headquarters." To unwind without the helmet, he might also hit some tennis balls—"Sometimes when the brain is a little shutdown it's fun to bang balls against the wall at the public schools that litter the East Village"—see some comedy, shoot photography or simply stay in. "My girlfriend and I have invested in a sweet home theater system that has a Wii and PS3 and Apple TV," Jaeger says. "Home wiring has become both a hobby and a chore."
Inside or out, "I am learning more about myself lately," says Jaeger. "I'm focusing on what I need to know to make my business succeed so that I can have a better life and that the people around me can too." And in the meantime, watch out for him the next time you hit up the break room—"For some reason I eat real fast. If I captained a vending machine team, I think we would win." We don't doubt it—after all, Jaeger's found his happy place.
It's a little cave, you go down and then there's a bar and banquet tables, and then there's this back area that's just completely open which is really amazing. …more
It's these long thin pizzas, they're not round and they're not really square, they're kind of rectangular but with round ends, like a subway sandwich but flattened and big. …more
It's actually a very fuel-efficient vehicle that can get you places that from a parking perspective are unattainable for a car. …more
It's definitely an inspiring place where you can see a lot of stuff that is popular in Japan, mixed together with stuff that's popular locally. …more
Xicala is a tapas place with a menu of salty, yummy, awesome stuff with an excellent wine list. …more
The prices, clothes, colors, and the service are from a different time period. …more
In the summer, the beer garden in the back is great, very social. They always sit people with mixed table so it ends up being a really social experience. …more