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David Baszucki

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David Baszucki
A picture of David Baszucki speaking in a chair
Baszucki speaking in an interview with TechCrunch.
Born
David Baszucki

(1963-01-20) January 20, 1963 (age 57)
Other namesbuilderman
Alma materStanford University
OccupationEntrepreneur, Engineer, Inventor
Years active1989–present
Known forCo-founder of Roblox
TitleCEO of Roblox Corporation
Spouse(s)Jan Ellison

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.[1]

Early life and education

Baszucki was born on January 20, 1963 in Canada.[2] He attended Eden Prairie High School in Eden Prairie, MN, where he was the captain of his high school TV quiz team.[2] He later went on to host his own talk radio show for KSCO Radio Santa Cruz from February to July 2003.[3][4] Baszucki studied engineering and computer science at Stanford University.[1] He graduated in 1985 as a General Motors Scholar in electrical engineering.[5]

Career

Knowledge Revolution

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.[6] In 1989, Baszucki, together with his brother, founded the company Knowledge Revolution, which was based around the distribution of Interactive Physics.[7][6] Originally released for Macintosh computers, Interactive Physics went on to win multiple awards.[8][9]

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.[10]

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.[1] 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.[11] While an investor, he provided seed funding to Friendster, a social networking service.[12]

Roblox

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.[13] 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.[1]

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.”[14] 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.”[15]

Other activities

Baszucki spoke at the 2018 Disrupt - San Francisco conference.[16] 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.[17]

Awards and recognition

Baszucki's "Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs" award alongside a Roblox patent under the name of co-founder Erik Cassel

Baszucki has received the following awards and honors:

  • Goldman Sachs 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs (2017, 2018).[5]
  • Comparably's Best CEO's for Diversity (2018, 2019).[18][19]

Personal life

Baszucki lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Jan Ellison, and their four children.[20] 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.[21]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Adams, Susan (June 10, 2016). "Why The Creator Of Roblox Thinks His Gaming Platform Will Top Minecraft". Forbes. Archived from the original on May 10, 2018. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Vashishtha, Yashica (July 24, 2019). "David Baszucki : Founder of Roblox, the Biggest Video Game Building Platform". Your Tech Story. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
  3. ^ Orin, Andy (October 13, 2016). "I'm David Baszucki, CEO of Roblox, and This Is How I Work". Lifehacker. Archived from the original on May 10, 2018. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  4. ^ Blitzer, Carol (March 2, 2001). "Seeing the possibilities". Palaol Toonline. Archived from the original on September 5, 2004. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "David Baszucki: The Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series". Stanford School of Engineering. March 20, 2018. Archived from the original on June 2, 2018. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  6. ^ a b LeGrand, Roland (October 17, 2020). "Gaming as a learning revolution". De Tijd (in Dutch). Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  7. ^ Risley, John S.; Gjertsen, Margaret (1992). "Orlando Exhibit Brings News of Educational Software Advances". Computers in Physics. 6 (2): 111–112. Bibcode:1992ComPh...6..111.. doi:10.1063/1.4823052.
  8. ^ "Interactive Physics - Physics Simulation Software for the Classroom". Design Simulation Technologies. Archived from the original on May 10, 2018. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  9. ^ Anne Samborn-Kaliczak (May 14, 1990). InfoWorld. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. p. 68. Archived from the original on June 2, 2018.
  10. ^ "Working Model 2D - 2D Kinematics & Dynamics Software - Engineering Simulation". Design Simulation Technologies. Archived from the original on February 3, 2018. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  11. ^ Gatollari, Mustafa (March 6, 2020). "'Roblox' Has Been Captivating Players for Over 13 Years, and It All Started With Two Men". Distractify. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  12. ^ Cashmore, Pete (February 23, 2007). "Digg Trademark, Singing News, $5.8 Billion Video Market, Roblox, More". Mashable. Archived from the original on May 10, 2018. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  13. ^ Fennimore, Jack (July 12, 2017). "Roblox: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Archived from the original on February 7, 2018. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  14. ^ Takahashi, Dean (December 20, 2016). "At 10, Roblox surpasses 30 million monthly users and 300 million hours of engagement". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on February 25, 2018. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  15. ^ Knapp, Alex (September 17, 2018). "How Roblox Is Training The Next Generation Of Gaming Entrepreneurs". Forbes. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  16. ^ Crook, Jordan (May 2, 2018). "Goldman Sachs CFO Martin Chavez and Roblox CEO David Baszucki to hit up Disrupt SF". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  17. ^ "Hydroxychloroquine, a drug promoted by Trump, failed to prevent healthy people from getting coronavirus". Oregon Live. Associated Press. June 3, 2020. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  18. ^ "Best CEOs for Diversity 2018". Comparably. June 6, 2018.
  19. ^ "Best CEOs for Diversity 2019". Comparably. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ 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.