Tom Anderson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Tom Anderson
Thomas Anderson

(1970-11-08) November 8, 1970 (age 52)
Years active2000–present

Thomas Anderson (born November 8, 1970) is an American technology entrepreneur best known for co-creating the social networking website Myspace alongside Chris DeWolfe in 2003. He later became the president of Myspace and a strategic adviser for the company. Due to the long-running practise of his profile being automatically added as the first "friend" of new Myspace users upon the creation of their profiles, he is popularly known as "Tom from Myspace", "Myspace Tom", or "my friend Tom".

Early life[edit]

Anderson was born in San Diego, California, on November 8, 1970.[1] His father was also an entrepreneur.[2] While attending San Pasqual High School in Escondido, California, Anderson was a computer hacker under the pseudonym "Lord Flathead" and was a friend of Bill Landreth.[3][4] In 1985, when he was 14, he hacked into a Chase Manhattan Bank computer system and was subsequently the target of one of the largest FBI raids in California history.[3][4] He was never arrested because he was a minor, but the FBI confiscated all of his computer equipment.[3][4] He later attended UCB, where he majored in English and rhetoric before becoming the lead singer of a rock band called Swank.[2] He moved to Taiwan after graduating, then returned to California to study film at UCLA.[5][6]


In 2000, Anderson became a product tester and copywriter at the digital storage company XDrive, where he first met Chris DeWolfe.[6] He initially joined XDrive as a product tester after answering a flyer advertisement while still at film school and looking to earn extra money.[7] After XDrive went bankrupt in 2001, he and DeWolfe founded the direct marketing company ResponseBase.[5][6] They sold ResponseBase to Brad Greenspan's eUniverse in late 2002.[2] With other eUniverse employees, Anderson set up the first pages of Myspace in August 2003. He founded the site partly as a reaction to Friendster and its policy of blocking accounts that did not use real names.[8] Intermix Media was then founded as the successor of eUniverse, and it was under Intermix that Myspace garnered the level of popularity for which it became notable.[5]

When Intermix and Myspace were both sold to News Corp, Anderson became president of the company.[5] Myspace was sold to News Corp in 2005 for $580 million.[9] Anderson said, "Before [the acquisition], I could do whatever I wanted. Now it takes more time to get people to agree on things. All the budget reviews and processes. That can be a pain. But it's not stopping us."[2] Reuters quoted an unnamed News Corp executive as saying, "Tom was responsible for the product, but ended up being a complete bottleneck on getting things done."[10] He was replaced as president of Myspace by News Corp in April 2009.[11] Later that year, he made a cameo in the comedy-drama film Funny People.[12] By 2010, he was no longer the default first friend on Myspace, being replaced by a profile called "Today On Myspace" (or "T.O.M.").[13]

In late May 2012, Anderson announced that he would be joining RocketFrog Interactive as an adviser to the 16-person company in Los Angeles, which had created a Facebook app.[9] However, in a September 2014 interview, he did not mention any advisory roles in his life at the time and explained that he is not interested in returning to his previous vocation.[14] Despite this, he concluded, "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."[14] His Twitter biography in November 2018 simply said he was "enjoying being retired". In January 2021, it read, "Enjoying the good life / New Hobby: Photography."[15]

Personal life[edit]

Following an experience with photography at the 2011 Burning Man festival, Anderson's interest in his own photography was piqued. In a September 2014 ABC News interview, he credited his friend and fellow photographer Trey Ratcliff for facilitating his skill development and explained, "I'm not necessarily trying to represent nature exactly. I'm trying to make something beautiful like a painter would." He travels globally with friends to locations such as Thailand and Myanmar, where he primarily focuses on landscape images.[14]

Anderson also explained in September 2014 that his personal interests have always been diverse: "If you knew me before Myspace, you'd probably thought I'd have been a scholar teaching philosophy in a university my whole life. If you met me before college, you'd probably have thought I'd be a musician for my entire life. I like change."[14] He remains active on other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.


  1. ^ Bennett, Jessica (October 27, 2007). "Is Age Just a Number?". The Daily Beast. Newsweek. Archived from the original on October 29, 2007. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d Sellers, Patricia (August 29, 2006). "MySpace cowboys". Fortune. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Arrington, Michael (August 30, 2008). "MySpace Cofounder Tom Anderson Was A Real Life "WarGames" Hacker in 1980s". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Gorman, Tom (December 11, 1986). "A Hacker Vanishes : Computer Whiz, Missing Since September, a Source of Mystery". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d Gibson, Owen (June 23, 2008). "200 million friends and counting". The Guardian. London. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
  6. ^ a b c Penenberg, Adam (2010). Viral Loop: The Power of Pass-It-On. Hachette UK. pp. 108–110. ISBN 978-1-84894-524-1.
  7. ^ Krantz, Matt (February 12, 2006). "The guys behind". USA Today. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
  8. ^ Agger, Michael (April 16, 2009). "Dude, Murdoch Friended Us!". New York Times. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
  9. ^ a b Chapman, Lizette (May 23, 2012). "MySpace Co-Founder Tom Anderson Leaps To RocketFrog As Adviser". Venture Capital Dispatch Blog. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
  10. ^ Adegoke, Yinka (April 7, 2011). "Special report: How News Corp got lost in Myspace". Reuters. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  11. ^ Angwin, Julia; Emily Steel (April 23, 2009). "Founders Step Aside at MySpace". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 22, 2011.
  12. ^ Errett, Joshua (August 19, 2009). "MySpace walks into a bar..." Now Toronto. Retrieved December 22, 2011.
  13. ^ Nakashima, Ryan (March 10, 2010). "MySpace outlines makeover after exec shake up". Associated Press. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  14. ^ a b c d Jared T. Miller (September 9, 2014). "Myspace Co-Founder Tom Anderson's New Life as a Landscape Photographer". Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  15. ^ "Tom Anderson". Tom Anderson on Twitter. Twitter. October 21, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2014.

Cite error: A list-defined reference named "Rosenbush" is not used in the content (see the help page).
Cite error: A list-defined reference named "WSJ" is not used in the content (see the help page).

Cite error: A list-defined reference has no name (see the help page).

External links[edit]