Richard Robinson tended bar in the Virgin Islands, taught English in Prague, picked grapes in France, painted houses in Norway and toiled at a BMW factory in Munich. But little prepared him for the adventure that awaited him in Hong Kong.
In 1999, he joined Renren, a leading online bulletin board system in the days before the Internet took off.
[…] Renren raised $37 million and then took a backdoor listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, valuing the company at $1.5 billion. Mr. Robinson had gone from itinerant backpacker to multimillionaire. Just as quickly, he was wiped out in the dot-com meltdown. [Source]