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Marc G Tan on redefining donation platforms for the better of the community

Society is said to be in the midst of one of the most rapidly changing states it has ever seen. Over the last decade, we have experienced a technological shift that is redefining the way we think about life and about how human beings ought to operate within it. What hundreds of thousands of people are struggling with, therefore, is how to keep up with such an unprecedented amount of change and how to adapt accordingly. Innovative engineers like Marc G Tan; however, are attempting to do far more than keep up with these changes. On the contrary, Tan is attempting to anticipate coming changes and proactively determine how best to preempt any impending issues with considerately planned solutions. He is at the top of his craft with a repertoire of work beneath his belt that sets him apart from his competitors. To date, he has achieved a number of milestones in his field and hopes to continue to do so for as long as this world will allow it.


“As an engineer, I get to understand systems on a deeper level. Because you design instructions line by line, you truly comprehend how every component functions and how they integrate to form a singular mechanism on a higher level. Working closely with code also gives me a sense of control over my work. Computer engineering forces me to be extremely specific in defining the expected behavior of every action, that teaches me to focus on details and be thorough in work processes like design, testing, etc. Lastly, this profession is humbling because of the rapid rate of change. It forces me to constantly be learning new technology, and makes me realize that it is perfectly normal not to know everything. The most important thing is facing mistakes, always moving on, and anticipating how to account for potential issues along the way,” Tan told.

Since the outset of his career, Tan has earned himself experience working on a wide variety of projects ranging from ambassadorial work with 42 Silicon Valley to expert consultations regarding Natural Language Processing. He even combined his engineering background with a personal interest in helping cancer patients to organize a movement called Hair for Hope, a movement of a series of events: hair-shaving and fundraising concert to help support children in their battle against cancer, an illness near and dear to his heart. He also built an app on the side to improve donations. There are few limits to the quality of work he can produce when he engages with a project and as a result, he finds himself in high demand amongst other engineers in his field. Back in 2014, Tan felt that after years of organizing various fundraising events for charities, it was time to use technology to improve the effectiveness of donation campaigns. This motivated him to build a platform that would digitize and optimize fundraising events.

DonorBox is a technological donation platform that allows individuals to donate to a particular cause electronically with no fuss and no hassle. As co-founder of the application, Tan had to navigate through a series of trial and error attempts to perfect the platform. This involved liaising with different organizations to identify their current campaign procedures, their needs, and how technology could ease any issues they were facing in their donations process. He learned quickly that a “one-size-fits-all” solution would not be applicable in this case and therefore, he decided to shift his gears to make the company service-based, whereby he would partner with organizations and customize their features to suit their campaign.

Tan’s unique combination of business savvy, engineering knowledge, and event experience made him the ideal candidate to create a platform of this nature. He worked out all of the initial kinks in the program and managed to produce a product he could be proud of. Today, DonorBox has earned a significant amount of traction and are now looking to shift towards a platform-based product that integrates these services into a singular platform through which organizers and event volunteers could engage with. Overall, he demonstrated what he is capable of when he challenges his brain to identify a business need and counteract it with an expert solution. For those looking to pursue a career in engineering, or follow down a path similar to that of Tan’s, he had the following advice to offer:

“Validate your market size and readiness. Often termed ‘Product-Market Fit’, ensure that the market you wish to tackle has an addressable need that’s big enough with growth that will be worth your while. In all cases, it is important to understand the nature of the industry and the habits of the target users to ensure that your product is one that consumers are confident to use and be satisfied with. In all, remember the objective, not the product. We tend to be defensive about our ideas and our solutions, but you should always listen to other opinions. What matters is the objective you set out to accomplish, and your startup will naturally go through a series of pivots and changes before you identify the right product.”

Written by Sean Desouza

Marc G Tan on redefining donation platforms for the better of the community Reviewed by JaamZIN on 5:45:00 PM Rating: 5
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