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David Baszucki

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David Baszucki
Photograph of David Baszucki speaking while sitting in a chair
Baszucki in 2018
Born (1963-01-20) January 20, 1963 (age 61)
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 david.baszucki, formerly builderman, is a Canadian-born American entrepreneur, engineer, and software developer. He is best known as the co-founder 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 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to Helen and Paul Baszucki, who met at the University of Saskatchewan before moving to Eastern Canada and the United States. [2] Both of Baszucki's parents were descended from Ukrainian immigrants who had settled in Saskatchewan. 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 December 2003, 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 January 2004. The website officially launched in 2004 whilst was officially released in September 1, 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