founder taught English here

Did you know Tom Anderson, co-founder of, and now a billionaire, spent some time in Taiwan teaching English? Maybe he posted on forumosa/oriented com?

Wired magazine says: "Tom wasn’t much interested in the Web when he graduated from UC Berkeley in 1997 with a double major in English and rhetoric. He moved to San Francisco and started an alternative rock band called Swank. …

…But Anderson’s interests extended beyond the Internet or music. After a LONG trip to TAIWAN, he returned to California in 1999 to pick up a master’s in film studies at UCLA. During his first week at school, he was in the computer lab checking his class schedule when he saw an ad for “I logged on to find a girl,” he says. “But I wound up being more intrigued by the idea that people could connect over the Net for all kinds of reasons.”

Anderson finished the two-year UCLA program in a year. After graduating, he intended to return to Asia. But first he needed money. Walking through his Los Angeles neighborhood one day, he saw a flyer promising $20 to anyone who answered the ad. A week later, he showed up at a nondescript office building in Santa Monica for what turned out to be a one-on-one focus group. The interviewer, who worked for an online storage startup called Xdrive Technologies, was so impressed with her subject that she hired him as a copywriter. Anderson figured he’d be at Xdrive for three weeks, just long enough to earn plane fare to Singapore.

It didn’t work out that way. Anderson hit it off with Chris DeWolfe, Xdrive’s VP of sales and marketing. “Tom was so obviously full of smart ideas, I wanted to work more closely with him,” says DeWolfe, now CEO of MySpace. By mid-2001, the two had left Xdrive to form their own marketing company, Response Base Marketing. The next year, they sold the business to eUniverse for $3.3 million. They continued to run the company, but they were already looking for a new challenge.