Getting accepted to Y Combinator is like moving to a new city, and having the hottest girl in school walk up and say she wants to be your girlfriend. Applying to their fraternity is on my schedule twice a year, much like getting my teeth cleaned or taking out the trash. So the latest YC deadline is upon us and the summer 2012 class applications are due by March 28. They've already accepted their first company for the summer class. I'll tell you who it is in a few days after I can get through Launch. I love them though.
The application process is never as easy and fast as you'd think. I've personally applied twice. The first application went into a big black delete hole. The second one I got an email from Paul asking for a new link to my video - but that was apparently enough to seal our team's fate. I'm definitely applying something before 3/28.
If you're not familiar, the process goes something like this:
Gate 0: Your application is decent enough to get a deeper look.
Gate 1: They watch your video.
Gate 2: They may email with you, or setup an interview.
Gate 3: The 10 minute in-person interview.
Gate 4: Offer time.
Or get a great introduction and go directly to gate 3. If you can survive Paul's gates of YC then you have a chance. It doesn't hurt if you went to or are currently attending an ivy league school, or if your business has been in operation for 1-2 years. They seem to be accepting a lot of companies that have launched and have decent traction. Regardless Y Combinator is the still best startup club in the world and I would accept an invitation to join much like the crazies do on American Idol. Now get to work on your application.