Silicon Valley is supposed to be this great meritocracy where it doesn't matter where you went to school or who you know, all that matters is how well you can build and "make something people want."
However, it always amazes me how much cronyism (for lack of a better word) there still is in Silicon Valley. Even Y Combinator is not immune to it. To their credit, PG et al are great at pattern recognition and identifying what separates good/great teams from the bad, but I feel like there is still too much cronyism, personal bias, and subjective judgment in their model that excludes a lot of entrepreneurs who don't fit their "type".
Given how influential PG's essays and YC's model have been on other VCs and angel investors, I wonder if it's becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy and/or vicious cycle in the industry where because YC prefers a certain subset of successful founder, it causes many/most investors to also prefer that subset, which makes it easier and easier for this subset of founders to quickly get funding and access to critical resources and networks, while it becomes harder and harder for new subsets of entrepreneurs to break through this walled garden.
DISCLAIMER: I really like YC and I read HN every day. I just think that if e.g. Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins were VC 1.0 and YC was VC 2.0, a new VC 3.0 that addresses the shortcomings of the current model is way overdue.
But humans form groups. That's what we do. And this group is pretty easy to join. You don't need a particular skin colour or religion. Just rock up and rock on.