The Multimillionaire Founder of MySpace Now Travels the World Taking Jaw-Dropping Photographs


Remember Tom Anderson?

The founder of MySpace was assigned as the first friend of everyone who joined 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 $580 million (£372 million) back in 2005.

But he has kept himself busy.

Buoyed by his massive payday, "MySpace Tom" today says he's retired and spends his days traveling the world, taking some truly astonishing photographs.

 

His travels have taken him around the world, from the Philippines ...

... to Venice ...

... and Iceland ...

... and Burma!

He has uploaded hundreds of shots to his Instagram page. This is one of his first, uploaded on Christmas Eve 2011 of his stay in Lijiang, China.

And here's where he spent New Year's Eve that year. It's Yosemite, in California.

Another New Year's Eve he spent in Singapore.

He began uploading photos to Instagram as part of a challenge to upload a photo once a day Monday through Friday 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.)

Many of his shots are taken in the US. This is in Arizona.

And this is a lava flow in Hawaii. The island state is a frequent subject of his photography.

This is Morro Bay, California.

With millions of dollars in the bank, Tom is set for life. He has escaped the 9-to-5 grind for good.

Here's another of his Hawaii shots — Lanikai beach.

He says he "cut my leg up bad" shooting this underwater shot.

It doesn't look like a bad life.

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.)

It was at Burning Man in 2011 that Tom first first got into photography, he told ABC.

He was inspired by his friend Trey Ratcliff, a professional photographer, "whom he now credits for his quick development."

Not all of his shots are travel photography. He has held a few photo shoots in his swimming pool.

Most of his shots are gorgeous vistas, though, such as this lake in New Zealand.

Tom may not be nearly as well known as he once was, but he can joke about it.

Traveling 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."

In 2013, Tom's travels took him to Tokyo.

He hiked up Mount Fuji while there.

The decline of MySpace serves as a reminder that no matter how big tech giants seem today, it may not be here forever.

Tom took the time to visit London once. He says he "nearly died from the cold, not the traffic!"

At its peak, MySpace was the most popular social network in the world. It still exists but is nearly irrelevant.

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."

He's on the mend though. He wrote in April that he could "walk without crutches" after physical therapy.

During recovery, the jet-setting former tech entrepreneur watched all 200 episodes of "How I Met Your Mother." He cried during the finale, he said on Twitter.

Tom spent this summer in Iceland.

His personal profile lists his occupation as "retired and travelling the world taking photos."

Here's his most recent Instagram shot. It's another waterfall in Iceland.

But could he ever be tempted to get back into the tech business?

"Many people really seem to want that from me," he told ABC. "On the one hand it's flattering."

"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."

"Adventure and the unknown has always been appealing to me."

[By Rob Price] [Read More] [Image from Mashable]

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