Richard Robinson isn't a guest on this week's show because of his status as a legend in Chinese entrepreneurial circles. Nor is it because we went to the same high school (though about a decade removed from each other). He's on because he represents a phenomenon among many expats that I've noticed within myself: We grasp onto and amplify the cultural traits that connect us to our places of origin. For myself and Richard, who hasn't lived in Boston since he was 18 years old, this still manifests as a distinct regional accent, a love of local sports teams and an identification with the "gritty" and "self-important" attitudes of our shared hometown. And this core identity endures for him even after years spent doing odd jobs all across Europe, Africa and Asia, right through his experiences building companies during he dawn of the social media & e-commerce industries in China, through marriage, divorce, re-marriage and raising a family to mentoring newer entrepreneurs and teaching at a major university in Beijing.
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