Silicon Valley is the home of approximately four million people. Although there is no “officially” defined area it is generally thought to be bounded by Redwood City on the north, San Jose on the south, the Santa Cruz Mountains on the West and Fremont-Newark on the east. Other major cities in the area are Sunnyvale, Palo Alto and Cupertino, home of some of the most famous Silicon Valley Companies. With the rapid growth of technology jobs in the San Francisco metropolitan area, the traditional boundaries of Silicon Valley have expanded north to include San Mateo County and the City and County of San Francisco as well as other parts of the San Francisco Bay Region.
According to studies, Silicon Valley is one of the most unchurched regions in the country. On a given Sunday less than 5% of the people in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties (those counties central to Silicon Valley) go to church. Most people think of Silicon Valley as a secular place where people’s attention is focused on business, high technology, and the accumulation of wealth.
The spirit of entrepreneurship thrives in Silicon Valley. For decades, Silicon Valley has led the country in the number of start-up companies and in the amount of venture capital invested. Silicon Valley has given birth to such companies as Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Google, Yahoo, Apple Computer, Cisco, Intuit, Electronic Arts, Facebook, LinkedIn, and many, many others.
Business, technology, and money are thought of as the gods most residents of Silicon Valley worship. Although this stereotype currently rings true, much more is happening in Silicon Valley than meets the eye.
It may surprise you that the God of the Bible is also working in Silicon Valley. No, He is not Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Eric Schmidt of Google, or a Sand Hill venture capitalist in disguise. He is, however, alive in the lives of many entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, business leaders, programmers, and ordinary people in Silicon Valley.
This Finding God in Silicon Valley website provides inspirational stories of some of those people and how God is working in Silicon Valley.
The author of the Website is Skip Vaccarello. More in depth versions of the stories on this site will be published in a book, Finding God in Silicon Valley, scheduled to be released in 2015.
I have over 30 years of experience in leadership positions for Silicon Valley technology companies. In 1979 I came to Silicon Valley, as the VP of Operations with VisiCorp, the provider of the industry’s first spreadsheet, VisiCalc, and a pioneer during the personal computer revolution. Most recently, I served as President and CEO of Applied Weather Technology, a global company providing software and services to the maritime industry. My other experience includes CEO of Communications Solutions, Inc., division general manager for 3Com, and co-founder and CEO of The Saratoga Group. In addition to writing, I currently work as an independent Silicon Valley management consultant and coach helping executives with strategic planning, operations, and mergers and acquisitions. I earned a BA in economics with honors from Harvard and an MBA with honors from the Boston University School of Management.
From a young age I had a belief in God, but put faith aside beginning in the late 60’s and 70’s as I focused on career, family, and sports. In the mid-80s, I came back to faith through the encouragement of a few friends and by immersing myself in both the Bible and books on the evidence for Christ and the Christian faith. The overwhelming evidence convinced me that Christ is who He says He is – the son of God and our Lord and Savior.
I am a founding partner in a church plant called New Beginnings Community Church (NBCC), chair the Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast, serve on the Advisory Board of The Salvation Army — Silicon Valley, and enjoy helping people on a one-on-one basis with their faith journey.
Why this Website?
The seeds of this Website and book were planted when after a discussion with fellow alumni at a Harvard reunion, I read a book we were given called Finding God at Harvard by Kelly Monroe (now Kelly Monroe Kullberg). One of Monroe’s goals in writing that book was to show that one can be both intelligent and a committed believer and follower of Jesus Christ.
Although Silicon Valley is often characterized as a place of high technology, materialism, and secular values, it is also a place where God is at work in the lives of many people. Through this Website and book, I hope to tell those stories.