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Remembering Robert Mondavi, a Legendary Entrepreneur

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Back in the 1960s, he was reportedly bounced out of his family's business for being too much of a maverick. He went on to start his own company and, in the end, he became a household name. Robert Mondavi died Friday, May 16, at the age of 94, according to the San Francisco Chronicle and other news organizations.

"A popular and tireless figure in the wine world, Mr. Mondavi was relentless in his drive to make wines that could compete with the finest in the world," the Chronicle reports. "His winery, established in 1966, became an iconic presence along Napa Valley's Highway 29 and a symbol not only of California's emergence as a wine powerhouse but of the lifestyle that Mondavi embodied - one that placed wine in context with good food and a culture of hospitality."

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Marc Andreessen will not be picturing you naked anymore. The Netscape and Ning founder writes on blog.pmarca.com that while CEOs used to give a lot of speeches in order to build awareness of their companies, now blogging is much more effective when it comes to nurturing and enhancing your brand and your own personal reputation within an industry group.

"I think I like the direction things are headed," he writes. "Mid-year resolution #1: No more public speaking. Mid-year resolution #2: More blogging." Okay Marc, we'll be watching and reading...

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Orange County, California is the Silicon Valley of eyes, according to the New York Times.

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The Times also published an interesting article this week on Da Hui, a small but influential line of surf wear.

"With annual sales of roughly $2 million, the privately held Da Hui is a flyspeck in comparison with mass-market behemoths like Billabong or Quiksilver," the Times' Guy Trebay writes. "But the appeal of the label — now sold at surf shops in 19 states and 12 countries — is that its black boardshorts and no-frills logos both bypass the sport's floral sartorial clichés and also, for those in the know, summon up a hard-core, roots surfer image of riders like those Da Hui underwrites."

The company grew out of a small surf club: "Formed in 1976 as Hui O He'e Nalu, Hawaiian for Club of Wave Sliders, by the surfer Eddie Rothman and his friends Bryan Amona, Terry Ahui and Clyde Aikau, the club's evolution and that of the brand it became paralleled other major changes in the sport. ...These days the black boardshorts that once signaled territorial assertion are sold at Costco, presumably to consumers innocent of their original intent."

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Finally, Valleywag offers this digest of trends in venture capital. It boils down to water, mobile phones, and old people rule; there are two many VCs and customer data should somehow be collated.

Last updated: May 16, 2008




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