Intro: Simon Tan

I’m an aspiring urbanist, on a journey to start a new career as an urban planner. Currently taking graduate school courses and aiming to finish in 2022.

I previously had a run as a product manager in the software industry. I worked for companies including Dropbox, Atlassian, Box, and Microsoft, specializing in mobile & enterprise productivity SaaS (cloud software).

While I’m passionate about the future of work and mobile productivity, I left the tech industry in 2020 to pursue my other lifelong passion in urban planning, where I have much more to learn and new ways to grow. I’ve been involved with nonprofits such as SPUR, SF Transit Riders, and Seamless Bay Area for years, but now I’m taking this hobby to the next level.

Brisk mobility largely defined my style as a product manager in tech, and I anticipate this is an element I will carry with me as I enter this new field. I look forward to documenting the journey here and invite you to connect and offer any advice or suggestions along the way!

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Recent Posts

Reflections on Career Change

Around two years ago, I finally committed to a decision that I had been contemplating for the better part of a decade beforehand. I would retire from the tech industry and pursue a brand-new career in urban planning, a field that had piqued my interest ever since high school. (Yes, I did stereotypically play a … Continue reading Reflections on Career Change

The Tragedy of Lowell High School

Across the United States, few high schools attract as much national controversy as Lowell High School. This elite magnet school in San Francisco is famous for its academic rigor, competitive culture, and demographically skewed student body (57% Asian as of this writing).

Conclusions from the Tech Remote Work Survey

This is the final post in a series about a study on the post-pandemic travel patterns of remote tech workers. See the original research proposal, a set of early findings, or the deeper statistical analysis that led to these takeaways and conclusions.

Further Analysis from the Tech Remote Work Survey

Building on the early findings from a survey of over 900 tech industry employees, five key insights have been derived through a series of regression-based analyses. They answer long-standing questions such as “what will make workers finally return to the office?” and “is there really a mass exodus happening from Silicon Valley?”. Warning: this post … Continue reading Further Analysis from the Tech Remote Work Survey


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