I am standing by the Martini bar in an office-block foyer in San Francisco, dot.com capital of the world. It's late evening, and a party to celebrate Red Herring magazine's Top Ten Entrepreneur awards is just fizzling out. A balding DJ in black is spinning some beats on a double deck in the corner; groups of shaggy young men - mainly men - huddle over cocktails and beer; thin, elegant, crop-haired waiters pass round the last of the canapes.
I am looking for Brits, trying to find out what it takes to make it here, at the top edge of Silicon Valley. Red Herring, a technology monthly, one of the new breed of funky internet glossies that's sprung up in San Francisco, is the sort of place to attract them. It's full of the values that have pushed this slice of California to the forefront of the communications revolution - informal, driven, enthusiastic, a whirlwind of positive vibes twisting to the same mantra: Be here now. It even has a sharp office, a vast, boxy, modern affair, plonked on the edge of SF's sassy Mission district. It's just round the corner from the original Levi Strauss factory, another growth business spawned by the last gold rush to hit these parts.
The entrepreneurs have come and gone, gongs in hand. The mix is very Silicon Valley: Chinese, Indians, WASPs. But no Brits. Someone had told me earlier in the week that the Red Herring editor was a sort-of Brit.