For those of you who were really, really late to the social media party, allow me to introduce Tom Anderson, better known as MySpace Tom.
Tom was once the most popular person on the planet, way more popular than you, me and everyone you will ever know combined. The co-founder of MySpace, Tom was automatically added as your very first “friend” when you signed up. Okay, so he was a bit pushy and forced his friendship onto people who never asked for it, but you need to be if you want 272,616,183 friends. Can any of you honestly say that you wouldn’t expand your social circle by just a couple hundred million people if you could? By 2004 anyone and everyone had a MySpace profile, from the reclusive emo kids (who, me?) to A-List celebs, and every single one of those people had Tom as their first ever MySpace friend. Everyone knew him.
However, the days of MySpace were numbered and it just couldn’t keep up with the ever evolving demands of social media. Facebook and Twitter came along, slowly nudging MySpace and our old pal Tom into obscurity, much to the chagrin of my floppy fringed self and the 1500 “friends” I’d amassed but never met.
In 2005 Tom sold MySpace for a whopping great $580 million dollars, after which he stayed on as president and member of the strategic advise team for four years, before finally leaving the company for good in 2009. As an interesting aside, the site is now owned by the one and only Justin Timberlake, who’s trying to bring it back to life as a music platform, an effort that I wish him the best of luck in.
So there’s Tom, 39 years old, a fortune in his pockets and a new decade fast approaching. What does a man do in this situation? Simple. Retire, travel the world, and blow everyone’s mind with just how insanely good your Instagram feed is. “Oh, you’re having some chicken for dinner, that’s cool. Here’s a tiny version of Beijing I found, WHILST I WAS IN BEIJING“. MySpace may have lost, but it seems that our buddy Tom has definitely come out on top.