David Baszucki

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David Baszucki
A picture of David Baszucki speaking while sitting in a chair
Baszucki in 2018
Born (1963-01-20) January 20, 1963 (age 60)
Other namesbuilderman, david.baszucki
Alma materStanford University
Occupation(s)Entrepreneur, engineer
Years active1989–present
Known forCo-founder of Roblox
TitleCEO of Roblox Corporation
SpouseJan Ellison

David Baszucki (/bəˈzki/; born January 20, 1963), also known by his Roblox username builderman, is a Canadian-born American entrepreneur, engineer, and software developer. He is best known as the co-founder (along with Erik Cassel) and CEO of Roblox Corporation. He previously co-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 grew up in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. As a child, he was interested in dirt bikes, go-karts, and science fiction.[3] He attended Eden Prairie High School in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, 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.[4][5] Baszucki studied engineering and computer science at Stanford University.[1] While there, he did a summer internship at General Motors where he worked in a lab focused on controlling car engines with software.[3] He graduated in 1985 as a General Motors Scholar in electrical engineering.[6]


Knowledge Revolution

In the late 1980s, Baszucki, together with his brother Greg Baszucki, founded the company Knowledge Revolution and developed and distributed a simulation called "Interactive Physics", which was designed as an educational supplement that would allow the creation of 2D physics experiments.[7][8]

As a follow-up to Interactive Physics, Knowledge Revolution launched the mechanical design software Working Model in the early 1990s.[9]

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 to 2002, but he left to establish Baszucki & Associates, an angel investment firm. Baszucki led Baszucki & Associates from 2003 to 2004.[10] While an investor, he provided seed funding to Friendster, a social networking service.[11]


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.[12] 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]

Baszucki owns a roughly 13% stake in the Roblox Corporation, the company that owns Roblox, a stake estimated to be worth roughly $470 million as of 2020.[13] He said he would donate any future compensation he earns from Roblox's listing on the New York Stock Exchange for philanthropic purposes.[14] In December 2021, a New York Times investigation alleged that he and his relatives used a tax break intended for small business investors in order to legally avoid tens of millions of dollars in capital gains taxes.[15] According to Business Insider, Baszucki was the seventh-highest-paid CEO in 2021, making $232.8 million.[16]

Other activities

In March 2021, after Roblox's listing on the New York Stock Exchange, Baszucki and his wife launched the Baszucki Group, a philanthropic organisation,[17] and started the Baszucki Brain Research Fund to provide grants to bipolar research programs.[18] In December 2021, the University of California, San Francisco launched the Baszucki Lymphoma Therapeutics Initiative, with $6 million in donations from Baszucki over five years, to increase the effectiveness and availability of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy for lymphoma patients.[17] In September 2022, Baszucki, Google cofounder Sergey Brin, and Keystone Capital chairman Kent Dauten donated a combined $150 million toward bipolar disorder research and treatment.[19]

Personal life

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


  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. ^ a b Kharif, Olga; Gilette, Felix (December 1, 2021). "David Baszucki, Roblox's 'Builderman'". Bloomberg. Retrieved August 22, 2022.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Blitzer, Carol (March 2, 2001). "Seeing the possibilities". Palaol Toonline. Archived from the original on September 5, 2004. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ LeGrand, Roland (October 17, 2020). "Gaming as a learning revolution". De Tijd (in Dutch). Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "Working Model 2D - 2D Kinematics & Dynamics Software - Engineering Simulation". Design Simulation Technologies. Archived from the original on February 3, 2018. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Brown, Abram (November 20, 2020). "Roblox Cofounder Dave Baszucki Needs To See This Magic Number To Become A Billionaire". Forbes. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  14. ^ Maloney, Tom; Stupples, Benjamin (March 10, 2021). "Roblox Creator's Wealth Soars to $4.6 Billion as Shares Jump". Bloomberg. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  15. ^ Drucker, Jesse; Farrell, Maureen (December 28, 2021). "A Lavish Tax Dodge for the Ultrawealthy Is Easily Multiplied". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 28, 2021.
  16. ^ Nguyen, Britney (June 28, 2022). "The 12 highest-paid CEOs, including Amazon's Andy Jassy and Roblox's David Baszucki, each earned over $100 million last year". Business Insider. Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  17. ^ a b Bleicher, Ariel (December 8, 2021). "$6M Gift from Family of Roblox Creator Launches New Initiative to Advance CAR T Therapy". University of California, San Francisco. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  18. ^ Karon, Paul (April 30, 2021). "New Donors Cast Fresh Eyes on the Underfunded Challenges of Bipolar Disorder". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved August 22, 2022.
  19. ^ Dolan, Kerry (September 12, 2022). "Sergei Brin, Roblox's David Baszucki And Kent Dauten Of Keystone Capital Commit $150 Million To Fight Bipolar Disorder". Forbes. Retrieved September 12, 2022.
  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.

Further reading