Matt Hershenson, a Founding Partner at Playground Global, knew he was going to be an engineer from an early age. As a teenager, he had an after-school job at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, where his size made him ideal for running cables under the raised floors in labs and machine rooms and above the dropped ceilings in the offices. He also learned how to repair and maintain the Computer Science Department’s Xerox Altos.
His earliest professional experience was at Apple, where he worked first in manufacturing engineering in Apple’s “Mac Factory” and later worked in the PowerBook group on the design of Apple’s line of PowerBook laptops. In 2000, Matt co-founded Danger, which went on to produce the first consumer smartphone.
After creating nine versions of the T-Mobile Sidekick and beginning the process of going public, Danger was purchased by Microsoft. Matt stayed at Microsoft for two years after the acquisition, serving as a Partner in Hardware Engineering.
Leveraging his mobile hardware experience, Matt joined Google’s Android team as Director of Hardware. At Google, Matt built the Android hardware team to span all aspects of hardware development – from chip design to regulatory compliance and everything in-between. Matt and his team shipped over 10 generations of devices across phones, tablets, and streaming receivers.
In late 2014, Matt joined up with the founding team to start Playground. The idea was to invest in transformative companies with multigenerational impact, while working side-by-side with portfolio companies to help them advance faster than if they were on their own.
Today, Matt is still unafraid of technological risk. His reasoning is: if you’re going to go through the trouble, you might as well create something with significance.
Matt lives in the Bay Area with his wife of over 20 years and three children.