Remember Tom Anderson?
The founder of MySpace was assigned as the first friend of everyone joining the social network — connecting him to hundreds of millions of people around the globe.
The glory days of MySpace are now long since gone, and (along with cofounder Chris DeWolfe) Tom sold his stake in the social network to News Corp for $US580 million (£372 million) back in 2005.
But he’s kept himself busy.
Buoyed up by his massive payday, today “MySpace Tom” says he’s retired, and spends his days travelling the world — taking some truly astonishing photographs.
(Instagram) Just left Burma/Myanmar. Loved the country and its people. I know I'll return again and again :-) The old city in Bagan was one of my favourite places... Last night I landed in Vietnam and finally got Internet again :-)
A photo posted by Tom Anderson (@myspacetom) on Dec 18, 2013 at 7:07pm PST
He has uploaded hundreds of shots to his Instagram page. This is one of his first ever, uploaded on Christmas Eve, 2011 of where he was staying in LiJiang, China.
(Instagram) New Year's Eve in Singapore, the thousands of spheres in the water had handwritten hopes and wishes for the New Year. Fun times and the most well behaved crowd of 300,000 I've ever seen (of course la!)
A photo posted by Tom Anderson (@myspacetom) on Dec 31, 2013 at 11:31am PST
He began uploading photos to Instagram as part of a challenge to upload a photo once a day Mon-Fri for a year. 'During the year, I've travelled all over the world and made incredible friends,' he said in an Instagram post. 'I've also lost people I love because of this pursuit :-( Photography has literally changed my life.' (This photo is under the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia.)
(Instagram) Hiked to see the lava flow from Kilauea last night with @john_hook @unrlhi @sticksxstonesjewelry --that's @dallasnagata and @spyhi on the edge there being epic! Thx to our guide Andrew from Kalapana Cultural Tours for guiding us there without dying or burning off a foot! It's about a 3 hour hike to reach this spot on the Big Island Hawaii! You really should go see this at least once in your life!
A photo posted by Tom Anderson (@myspacetom) on Jan 6, 2013 at 12:47pm PST
A photo posted by Tom Anderson (@myspacetom) on Apr 12, 2014 at 9:33pm PDT
A photo posted by Tom Anderson (@myspacetom) on Jun 5, 2014 at 9:41am PDT
Tom also sometimes visits Burning Man, a countercultural Nevada Festival wildly popular with the tech crowd. (Google hired Eric Schmidt after he told Larry Page and Sergey Brin that he went to Burning Man.)
He was inspired by his friend Trey Ratcliff, a professional photographer, 'whom he now credits for his quick development.'
A photo posted by Tom Anderson (@myspacetom) on Feb 2, 2013 at 5:52pm PST
(Instagram) Got turned away trying to go to Crater Lake. Something about a federal government shutdown and national parks being closed?! Guess we have not been keepin up with news out on the road. For now, I'll make do with the memory of this lake I shot in New Zealand earlier this year!
A photo posted by Tom Anderson (@myspacetom) on Oct 2, 2013 at 5:45pm PDT
Travelling hasn't mellowed him out though. In 2012, when someone made fun of him on Twitter for not being 'able to keep a social network alive,' Tom fired back that he 'sold myspace in 2005 for $580 million while you slave away hoping for a half-day off.'
(Instagram) Surfing at Fingers, Oahu, Hawaii - Went for a classic feel on this one :-) I met Celine (pictured), her mum Valerie, and little sister Juliette (who is the family Instagram representative and insisted I tag her in this photo lol @juliette_lum ) !! There you go Juliette!!
A photo posted by Tom Anderson (@myspacetom) on May 6, 2013 at 10:00am PDT
The decline of MySpace serves as a reminder that no matter how big tech giants seem today, they may not be here forever.
(Instagram) Last night at the Santa Monica pier, it was just me and the birds... No one else came to watch the sunset since it was a rainy day. The sun peeked out for just a moment and things got surreal for 5 minutes!
A photo posted by Tom Anderson (@myspacetom) on Oct 10, 2013 at 11:45am PDT
At its peak, MySpace was the most popular social network in the world. Today, it still exists, but it's almost totally irrelevant.
(Instagram) Just one of the Mauna Kea telescopes on the Big Island, Hawaii. At 13,000 feet it gets extremely cold up here, but the very top of this volcano is one of the best places to view stars in the world, which is why there are 12 independent observatories here. Fun times with @jessihook @john_hook @samanthahook @tommyshih and the parents with no Instagrams... What?!
A photo posted by Tom Anderson (@myspacetom) on Aug 8, 2013 at 2:26pm PDT
Earlier this year, Tom broke his ankle. 'This is the longest I've been inside for three years,' he wrote after the surgery. 'I miss being out in nature, but it's nice to take a break.'
(Instagram) I haven't seen a sunrise or sunset in a while now, except through the window from my bed! Happy to report that the surgery was a success. Now it's time to recover. I miss being out in nature, but it's nice to take a break. This is the longest I've been inside for three years. Lucky I have some good books, good people with me, and Downton Abbey. Just finished Season 4. Watched all of Game of Thrones too :-) The doctors think my ankle has a good chance for a 100% recovery.
A photo posted by Tom Anderson (@myspacetom) on Feb 10, 2015 at 8:39pm PST
He's on the mend though. He wrote in April that he can now 'walk without crutches' after physical therapy.
(Instagram) Just looking back to where I was a year ago today, where did I choose to be when my ankle was not broken? This place :-) My recovery is on the horizon, I can take a few steps now. I've been in physical therapy for 3 weeks now and can walk without crutches.
A photo posted by Tom Anderson (@myspacetom) on Apr 13, 2015 at 10:10pm PDT
During recovery, the jetsetting former tech entrepreneur watched all 200 episodes of 'How I Met Your Mother.' He cried during the finale, he said on Twitter.
(Instagram) Gotta love it when you're set up shooting and a rainbow appears out of nowhere! Said rainbow only lasted for a few minutes, despite my jumping up and down to encourage it :) Sometimes waking up for sunrise is worth it! --Summer in Iceland
A photo posted by Tom Anderson (@myspacetom) on Sep 13, 2015 at 10:25pm PDT
(Instagram) Iceland: On my first night aurora hunting! This was actually the first time I'd ever seen the Northern Lights with my own eyes. I'm amazed to report that it really can look this green and stunning with the naked eye -- no camera tricks! Adding to the excitement, we'd been warned of about 60km winds heading towards our location. As we watched nature's light show get better and better by the second, we knew we had to get out of there. After about 45 minutes, I made the difficult call to intentionally leave one of the coolest things I'd ever witnessed and drive 5 hours straight through crazy winds and snow to escape the life threatening storm heading straight for us. Can't wait to go back for more when the weather clears!!
A photo posted by Tom Anderson (@myspacetom) on Dec 14, 2014 at 11:18pm PST
'I'll never say never, because more than anything I like the idea that anything can happen. I don't know exactly where my life will lead.'
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