Hello there! | Dafacto

The personal website of Matt Henderson.

Hello there!

About your author.

My name is Matt Henderson, and this website is where I’ve been writing since 2003. You’ll also find me posing as a Penguin on Twitter, and occasionally updating LinkedIn.

My story…

My career has been spent at the intersection of innovation, technology and design.

Originally from the United States, I studied electrical engineering at Georgia Tech. A girlfriend from Spain, and time spent at the school’s campus in France, sparked a lifelong interest in exploring the world’s cultures.

My first job was tracking satellites in Germany at the European Space Agency. Wanting to experience the business side of the industry, I started an aerospace engineering company in 1997, which I grew to about 35 people, and sold in an industry roll-up in 2012.

I fell in love with design—everything from user interfaces, to typography, to copywriting—and started an agency, Makalu, hoping to create products even Apple would be proud of. That little business, which I ran for 20 years from the southern coast of Spain, created some critically acclaimed work for brands like Google, Virgin America and Live Nation.

Among our achievements included a marketing campaign for Google & Virgin America that Ogilvy execs declared to be, “A glimpse into the future of digital marketing”, a web application that onboarded a million users, an app used to time three million participants of sport events, and an app featured by Apple, that went viral in Brazil—because its name there means, “butt crack”.

All these interests converged in the world of crypto, which I discovered in 2012 and later became a builder, working as a founding member, Head of Product, and Chief Strategy Officer at Aurora Labs—an EVM blockchain, running on the NEAR Protocol.

There, my team created Rainbow Bridge, responsible for transferring more than $2B in assets, Aurora+, one of the first web2 apps in the web3 space, and the Aurora Cloud website.

In 2023, I transitioned out of a full-time work, and into part-time advisory roles—including Aurora, a Dubai-based exchange and AI startup Haltia—and exploring interesting new blockchain projects such as Spacemesh, where I created the SmeshWallet web wallet and Spacemesh.fyi website.

Investing from an early age was life-changing for me. Money for Something is a free guide I published, that in one hour teaches all the fundamentals needed to start down the path to financial freedom. It’s been praised by people like David Heinemeier Hansson and Derek Sivers.

Outside of work, I’m a three-time European gold medalist in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a martial art in which I received my black belt in 2011. I also enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, rock climbing, and skiing.

I value simplicity and authenticity, and love exploring the diverse experiences and cultures the world has to offer.

Questions or comments? — Feel free to email me using the contact form below, or reach out on Twitter.