Marvin Sum

Product designer at Palantir. I design software that combats cyber attacks, human trafficking and other difficult problems.

Previously, I did UI design at Foodspotting: an app that serves as a visual guide to good food and where to find it. The San Francisco-based startup was acquired by OpenTable in early 2013. Before Foodspotting, I self-started several e-commerce projects for emerging markets in South-East Asia.

I went to engineering school initially, but later discovered my passion in design. After graduating, I taught myself the fundamentals of design and the use of various design tools. I've also learnt a ton from numerous individuals in the design community. It's been an incredible journey and even now, it's still lots of fun discovering and learning new things.

Speaking at Palantir in 2013.

I grew up in sunny Singapore and beautiful New Zealand. Outside of work, I have an unhealthy obsession with photography, minimalism and tea (though not necessarily in that order). I also use the term "hipster" way too often and should probably figure out how to break that annoying habit.

I'm not looking for new opportunities at this moment, but feel free to reach out if you have a question or want to get a Philz coffee. I love connecting with interesting people who are doing meaningful things.

My Timeline

Here are some interesting things I've been up to.

  • Silicon Valley! The startup capital of the world. April 2013 — Moved to Sunnyvale, California.

  • Let's choose a topic, find some good speakers, and learn some new things. January 2013 — Organized a Lean UX conference.

  • With a little money and advice, this thing is starting to take off! July 2011 — Raised a seed round.

  • Done with school. Time to write code and build awesome things! November 2007 — Graduated from university.

  • Kia ora! Look at all that sheep! November 2001 — Moved to Christchurch, New Zealand.

  • Hello world! July 1987 — Born at around 6.37am in Singapore.

Contact Me

I'm not looking for new opportunities at this moment. Reach out if you have a question or want to get a Philz coffee.

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