Hi, I'm Justin Barber.
Like so many others, I moved to Silicon Valley because of a job opportunity. I started at Google in 2014 (shortly after turning 21), back when the the logo was still a goofy serif, the products were still ugly, and shares were trading at less than $600. After four years of the Big Tech experience I joined an early, venture backed startup that has since grown into a company valued over $3B.
Along the way, the Bay Area has become the only place besides Tokyo that I've ever considered to be "home." So I started writing The Valleyist in 2019 as a way to explore one of my life's core questions: what does it look like to effectively live out my spiritual beliefs while living and working in the heart of Silicon Valley?
Being an active participant in shaping both communities of Church (people following Jesus) and Tech (people building software), I am constantly balancing hope and skepticism.
While I believe in the Valley's cultural values of optimism, pursuing excellence, and future-making, I also grieve its hubris, greed, and irreverence. And while I believe in Jesus' values of love, patience, and self-control, I grieve the American church's complacency, ignorance, and consumptive attitude.
My critiques of these two communities are rooted in an understanding that I've benefited from and contributed to the positive and negative cultural impacts of both.
For those of you who are either only in Church or only in Tech, I hope my writing inspires you to learn more from the other community. For those of you who are active participants in both, I hope my voice challenges you to consider your own role in bringing alignment between them.
To receive my future posts (published irregularly), as well as read the full archive, subscribe below:
"Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain."
– Isaiah 40