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How a Photo Inspires This Record Company's CEO to Treat His Team Like Family What keeps the CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M Records going? An old photo from his first big break.

By John Janick

This story appears in the September 2018 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Courtesy of John Janick

When I was a teenager, in the '90s, I was really into underground music. I'd buy wholesale orders of CDs I loved and then sell them to friends for $10 apiece. Eventually I started putting together compilations. It wasn't about making a profit as much as it was about turning people on to new music that I loved.

Related: 21 Ways to Get Inspired (Infographic)

I was friends with a local band, Less Than Jake, in Florida, and the summer before my freshman year at the University of Florida, the drummer, Vinnie Fiorello, and I decided to start a record label. We launched Fueled by Ramen out of my dorm room in 1996. There was no guidebook -- and not many people there in Gainesville to learn from.

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