Baszucki speaking in an interview with TechCrunch.
January 20, 1963
|Alma mater||Stanford University|
|Occupation||Entrepreneur, Engineer, Inventor|
|Known for||Co-founder of Roblox|
|Title||CEO of Roblox Corporation|
David Baszucki (born January 20, 1963), also known by his Roblox username builderman, is a Canadian-born American entrepreneur, engineer, and inventor. He is best known as the co-founder and CEO of Roblox. He previously founded and served as the CEO of Knowledge Revolution, which was acquired by MSC Software in December 1998.
Early life and education
Baszucki was born on January 20, 1963 in Canada. He attended Eden Prairie High School in Eden Prairie, MN, where he was the captain of his high school TV quiz team. He later went on to host his own talk radio show for KSCO Radio Santa Cruz from February to July 2003. Baszucki studied engineering and computer science at Stanford University. He graduated in 1985 as a General Motors Scholar in electrical engineering.
In the late 1980s, Baszucki, together with his brother Greg Baszucki, developed a simulation called "Interactive Physics", which was designed as an educational supplement that would allow the creation of 2D physics experiments. In 1989, Baszucki, together with his brother, founded the company Knowledge Revolution, which was based around the distribution of Interactive Physics. Originally released for Macintosh computers, Interactive Physics went on to win multiple awards.
As a follow-up to Interactive Physics, Knowledge Revolution launched the mechanical design software Working Model in the early 1990s. Similar to its sister program, Working Model also provided a set of virtual mechanical components, such as springs, ropes, and motors, that could be used to create basic physics simulations in a 2D working space.
MSC Software and investing
In December 1998, Knowledge Revolution was acquired by MSC Software, a simulation software company based in Newport Beach, California, for $20 million. Baszucki was named vice president and general manager of MSC Software from 2000 – 2002, but he left to establish Baszucki & Associates, an angel investment firm. Baszucki led Baszucki and Associates from 2003 to 2004. While an investor, he provided seed funding to Friendster, a social networking service.
In 2004, Baszucki, along with Erik Cassel – who worked as Baszucki's VP of Engineering for Interactive Physics – began working on an early prototype of Roblox under the working title DynaBlocks. It was later renamed Roblox, a portmanteau of “robots” and “blocks” in 2005. The website officially launched in 2006. In a June 2016 interview with Forbes, Baszucki stated that the idea for Roblox was inspired by the success of his Interactive Physics and Working Model software applications, especially among young students.
In a December 2016 interview with VentureBeat, Baszucki said, “We believe we’re starting to see a network effect. Retention is getting higher as more people come to play with their friends and have a better chance of finding their friends.” Baszucki believes that Roblox is ushering in a new “human co-experience” category that will become larger than gaming. In a September 2018 interview with Forbes, Baszucki said, "Right when we started, we imagined a new category of people doing things together. A category that involved friends, like social networking; a category that involved immersive 3-D, like gaming; a category that involved cool content, like a media company; and finally a category that had unlimited creation, like a building toy.”
Baszucki spoke at the 2018 Disrupt - San Francisco conference. In 2020, Baszucki funded a study on the effect of Hydroxychloroquine on COVID-19, which showed no evidence of it preventing or treating the virus.
Awards and recognition
Baszucki has received the following awards and honors:
- Goldman Sachs 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs (2017, 2018).
- Comparably's Best CEO's for Diversity (2018, 2019).
Baszucki lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Jan Ellison, and their four children. In a 2020 blog post after the Killing of George Floyd, Baszucki expressed his support for the Black Lives Matter movement, expressing dismay at the large amounts of racial inequality in the United States.
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- Baer, Sheri (January 26, 2015). "Local author Jan Ellison's debut novel, A Small Indiscretion, is spotlighted at Kepler's". InMenlo. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
- Stevens, Barry (June 3, 2020). "David Baszucki, founder and CEO of Roblox sends a heartfelt message in a recent blog post". Entertainment Focus. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
This article needs additional or more specific categories. (October 2020)