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David Baszucki

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David Baszucki
A headshot of David Baszucki
Baszucki on March 12, 2018 at South by Southwest
Born David Baszucki
(1963-01-20) January 20, 1963 (age 55)
Canada
Alma mater Stanford University
Occupation Entrepreneur, Engineer, Inventor
Years active 1989–present
Known for Founder of Roblox
Title CEO of Roblox Corporation
Spouse(s) Jan Ellison

David Baszucki (born January 20, 1963) is an American entrepreneur, engineer, and inventor. He is best known as the founder 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,[3] 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.[4][5]

Baszucki studied engineering and computer science at Stanford University.[6] He graduated in 1985 as a General Motors Scholar in electrical engineering.[7]

Career

Knowledge Revolution

In 1989, Baszucki, together with his brother, Greg Baszucki, founded the company Knowledge Revolution following the development of their educational application Interactive Physics.[8][9]Originally released for Macintosh computers, Interactive Physics was an award-winning engineering simulation software product that allowed users, primarily teachers and students, to create their own physics experiments in a 2D laboratory environment.[10][11][12]

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.[13]

In December 1998, Knowledge Revolution was acquired by MSC Software, a simulation software company based in Newport Beach, California, for $20 million[6]. 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, from 2003 - 2004.[14]

Roblox

In 2004, Baszucki 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.[15] Headquartered in San Mateo, California, Roblox Corporation provides an online entertainment platform that allows users to design their own games and play a wide variety of experiences developed by other users through its proprietary creation engine Roblox Studio. In a June 2016 interview with Forbes, Baszucki stated that the idea for Roblox was heavily inspired by the success of his interactive physics and working model software applications, especially among young students: “Seeing how kids lit up when they were creating things using our physics software made me think of what would be the ultimate platform for our imagination. Also I like construction toys and I saw the direction 3-D rendering was going. It became clear to me that there was an opportunity to create an immersive, 3-D, multi-player platform in the cloud where people could imagine, create, and share their experiences together.”[6] The Roblox platform has grown dramatically in recent years, going from 7 million users per month in 2012 to over 60 million in 2018.[16] A December 2017 study conducted by media measurement and analytics company comScore showed that the platform saw more monthly hours (51.5 million) from visitors under 13 on desktop computers than YouTube (19.4 million). Additionally, the study states that Roblox also received more average monthly visits from users under 18 on desktop computers than YouTube and Netflix.[17][18]

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.”[19]

During an April 2018 entrepreneurial thought leadership talk at Stanford, Baszucki attributed Roblox’s growth to its adherence to platform principles: it allows users to create viral content that attracts other people to the platform and it enables creators to drive the monetization.[20]

Baszucki believes that Roblox is helping to usher in a new “3D human co-experience” category that will become larger than gaming. This category borrows elements from three areas: (1) social networking services, because it powers real-time social activities; (2) gaming, because users are creating interactive 3D experiences that other people can play; and (3) toys, because creators can use the tools provided by the platform to construct anything they imagine.[20][21]

In August 2009, Roblox Corporation raised roughly $2.2 million of funding, led by Altos Ventures and First Round Capital.[22] In June 2011, the company closed its second round of venture financing with $4 million in investment capital from existing investors, including Altos Ventures and First Round Capital.[23] In March 2017, Roblox secured a $92 million investment in a financing round led by Meritech Capital Partners and Index Ventures.[24][25] In September 2018, Roblox announced that it closed on a $150 million Series F funding round led by Greylock Partners and Tiger Global Management, with participation from existing investors including Altos Ventures, Index Ventures, and Meritech Capital Partners.[26]

Roblox has received the following accolades:

Other business interests

Prior to the founding of Roblox in 2005, Baszucki led the angel investment firm Baszucki and Associates until 2004.[14] He provided seed funding to Dealix, an automotive internet marketing service that was acquired by The Cobalt Group,[31] and Friendster, a social networking service.[32]

Awards and recognition

Baszucki has received the following awards and honors:

  • He was honored with the “San Mateo Visionary Hero Award” in 2015 for Roblox’s contributions to education and encouraging kids to code.[33]
  • In 2017, Goldman Sachs named him as one of its 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs.[7]
  • On June 6, 2018, company culture and compensation data platform Comparably recognized Baszucki as one of the best CEOs for diversity.[34]

Patents

Title Application Number Grant Number Application Date Grant Date Original Assignee
System for creating and operating three-dimensional vehicles from pre-constructed parts[35] 12/949041 8277318 2010-11-18 2012-10-2 Roblox Corporation
System and methods for managing distributed physics simulation of objects in a virtual environment[36] 12/623292 8832568 2009-11-20 2014-11-9 Roblox Corporation
Methods and system for modifying parameters of three dimensional objects subject to physics simulation and assembly[37] 12/752415 8839153 2010-4-1 2014-9-16 Roblox Corporation
Gaming system[38] 13/040713 9028330 2011-3-4 2015-5-12 Roblox Corporation
Geometric assembly[39] 13/658172 9229605 2012-10-23 2016-1-5 Roblox Corporation
Game retention value optimization system[40] 14/519509 9821223 2014-10-21 2017-11-21 Roblox Corporation
Online building toy[41] 11/128096 7874921 2005-5-11 2011-1-25 Roblox Corporation
Method and apparatus for automatic coalescence of connected rigid bodies[42] 12/214482 8537165 2008-6-18 2013-9-17 Roblox Corporation
Automatic decoration of a three-dimensional model[43] 11/998563 9536344 2007-11-30 2017-1-3 Roblox Corporation
Dynamic and scalable topology for virtual world environments[44] 12/251389 9550125 2008-10-14 2017-1-24 Roblox Corporation
Lighting management in virtual worlds[45] 13/894019 9245376 2013-5-14 2016-1-26 Roblox Corporation
Method and apparatus for rendering and modifying terrain in a virtual world[46] 13/354779 8842116 2012-1-20 2014-9-23 Roblox Corporation
Multi-solver physics engine[47] 13/905989 9457277 2013-5-30 2016-10-4 Roblox Corporation
Pass-structured game platform[48] 13/708413 9199170 2012-12-7 2015-12-1 Roblox Corporation
Motivational score[49] 14/223395 9901833 2014-3-24 2018-2-27 Roblox Corporation

Personal life

Baszucki lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and their four children.[50]

References

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  2. ^ "David Baszucki on Twitter". Twitter. Archived from the original on 2018-06-02. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
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  4. ^ Orin, Andy. "I'm David Baszucki, CEO of Roblox, and This Is How I Work". Lifehacker. Archived from the original on 2018-05-10. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  5. ^ "Seeing the possibilities". www.paloaltoonline.com. Archived from the original on 2004-09-05. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
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  35. ^ Baszucki, David. "System for creating and operating three-dimensional vehicles from pre-constructed parts" (PDF). United States Patent and Trademark Office. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-05-10.
  36. ^ Baszucki, David. "System and methods for managing distributed physics simulation of objects in a virtual environment". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Archived from the original on 2017-02-12.
  37. ^ Baszucki, David. "Methods and system for modifying parameters of three dimensional objects subject to physics simulation and assembly". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Archived from the original on 2017-02-12.
  38. ^ Baszucki, David. "Gaming system". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Archived from the original on 2017-02-12.
  39. ^ Baszucki, David. "Geometric assembly". Archived from the original on 2017-02-12.
  40. ^ Baszucki, David. "Game retention value optimization system". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Archived from the original on 2017-02-12.
  41. ^ Baszucki, David. "Online building toy". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Archived from the original on 2017-02-12.
  42. ^ Baszucki, David. "Method and apparatus for automatic coalescence of connected rigid bodies". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Archived from the original on 2017-02-12.
  43. ^ Baszucki, David. "Automatic decoration of a three-dimensional model". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Archived from the original on 2017-02-12.
  44. ^ Baszucki, David. "Dynamic and scalable topology for virtual world environments". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Archived from the original on 2017-02-12.
  45. ^ Baszucki, David. "Lighting management in virtual worlds". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Archived from the original on 2017-02-12.
  46. ^ Baszucki, David. "Method and apparatus for rendering and modifying terrain in a virtual world". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Archived from the original on 2017-02-12.
  47. ^ Baszucki, David. "Multi-solver physics engine". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Archived from the original on 2017-02-12.
  48. ^ Baszucki, David. "Pass-structured game platform". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Archived from the original on 2017-02-12.
  49. ^ Baszucki, David. "Motivational score". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Archived from the original on 2017-02-12.
  50. ^ "Local author Jan Ellison's debut novel, A Small Indiscretion, is spotlighted at Kepler's — InMenlo". inmenlo.com. Retrieved 2018-05-10.