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Prior to Vindicia, Gene co-founded eMusic in January 1998 and served as president, chief executive officer, and a director. As head of eMusic, Gene was featured on the cover of Forbes Magazine as a member of the July 1999 E-Gang and named one of the 100 most influential entrepreneurs in technology in Upside Magazine’s November 2000 Elite 100. Gene led the acquisition of eMusic by Vivendi/Universal in June 2001. Prior to founding eMusic Gene was director of business development and director of interactive marketing of Pretty Good Privacy. Gene joined Pretty Good Privacy after it acquired PrivNet, Inc., an Internet privacy software company, where he was co-founder, director and executive vice president.
Sramana: Gene, let’s start with your background. Where are you from?
Gene Hoffman: I am originally from North Carolina, born and raise outside of Charlotte. My father was a CPA/CFO and ran a company called Kinderphoto which was a large photography chain throughout the world. When he sold the photography business, he started a brokering small and medium businesses, so I was exposed to a lot of different businesses very early on…