Cupertino is where Apple is. Palo Alto is where Facebook is. Mountain View is where Google is. Geographically speaking, then, Y Combinator, let's call it YC, is in Googletown, a flat suburban place dotted with low bungalows and bathed almost always in sunlight.
It is November, and 5 a.m. feels like winter. As he has on many mornings these past four months of 2011, Brogan Rafferty, age 16, wakes up early to help his friend and mentor, Rich Beasley, on an errand of Rich's design. Brogan doesn't need to pick up Rich until 6, but unlike your typical teenager, Brogan likes to get up early and drink coffee in the morning so he has some time to himself before he leaves the house.
When you see the entrance to Marquee at 11 P.M. on a Saturday, you know why the promoters call this process "bringing the shitshow." Massing out front were, by my estimation, at least 2,000 people. Packs of Asian bachelorettes sucking on cock-and-balls lollipops. Pods of probably either Libyan or Italian princes of the overclass in blazers and exposed solar plexuses and calfskin loafers and Adrian Grenier knit caps.