|Intro||Main Co-foundator of Roblox|
|Is||Software engineer Programmer Businessperson Entrepreneur Inventor Founder|
|From||United States of America|
|Birth||20 January 1963, Canada|
|Residence||San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA|
David Baszucki (born January 20, 1963), better known as builderman, is a Canadian-born American entrepreneur, engineer, and inventor. He is best known as the co-founder 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 1989, Baszucki, together with his brother, Greg Baszucki, founded the company Knowledge Revolution following the development of their educational application Interactive Physics. 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.
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.
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, from 2003 - 2004.
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. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, Roblox Corporation provides a 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 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.” 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.
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.” 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.
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.”
On January 15, 2019, Roblox launched a new digital civility initiative with online safety expert Laura Higgins at the helm. The initiative is aimed at creating new programs, as well as identifying technology and behavioral trends, that will “empower kids, teens, parents, and caregivers with the skills to create positive online experiences,” according to a press release. Baszucki commented, “Roblox’s mission is to bring the world together through play. As a training ground for life, we are fostering the new behaviors and skills that digital citizens need in this rapidly changing world. I’m pleased Laura will be joining us to guide our efforts in this important area.”
On August 2, 2019, Roblox reached a new community milestone of 100 million monthly active users.
In August 2009, Roblox Corporation raised roughly $2.2 million of funding, led by Altos Ventures and First Round Capital. 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. In March 2017, Roblox secured a $92 million investment in a financing round led by Meritech Capital Partners and Index Ventures. 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.
Roblox has received the following accolades:
- Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies (2016, 2017)
- San Mateo County Economic Development Association (SAMCEDA) Award of Excellence (2017)
- Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 (2017)
- San Francisco Business Times’ Tech & Innovation Award – Gaming/eSports (2017)
- Fast Company's World's 50 Most Innovative Companies - #1 in Gaming and #9 Overall (2020)
Other business interests
Baszucki led the angel investment firm Baszucki and Associates from 2003 to 2004. He provided seed funding to Dealix, an automotive internet marketing service that was acquired by The Cobalt Group, and Friendster, a social networking service.
Awards and recognition
Baszucki has received the following awards and honors:
- In 2015, he was honored with the “San Mateo Visionary Hero Award” for Roblox’s contributions to education and encouraging kids to code.
- In 2017 and 2018, Goldman Sachs named him as one of its 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs.
- In 2018 and 2019, company culture and compensation data platform Comparably recognized Baszucki as one of the best CEOs for diversity.
|Title||Application Number||Grant Number||Application Date||Grant Date||Original Assignee|
|System for creating and operating three-dimensional vehicles from pre-constructed parts||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||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||12/752415||8839153||2010-4-1||2014-9-16||Roblox Corporation|
|Gaming system||13/040713||9028330||2011-3-4||2015-5-12||Roblox Corporation|
|Geometric assembly||13/658172||9229605||2012-10-23||2016-1-5||Roblox Corporation|
|Game retention value optimization system||14/519509||9821223||2014-10-21||2017-11-21||Roblox Corporation|
|Online building toy||11/128096||7874921||2005-5-11||2011-1-25||Roblox Corporation|
|Method and apparatus for automatic coalescence of connected rigid bodies||12/214482||8537165||2008-6-18||2013-9-17||Roblox Corporation|
|Automatic decoration of a three-dimensional model||11/998563||9536344||2007-11-30||2017-1-3||Roblox Corporation|
|Dynamic and scalable topology for virtual world environments||12/251389||9550125||2008-10-14||2017-1-24||Roblox Corporation|
|Lighting management in virtual worlds||13/894019||9245376||2013-5-14||2016-1-26||Roblox Corporation|
|Method and apparatus for rendering and modifying terrain in a virtual world||13/354779||8842116||2012-1-20||2014-9-23||Roblox Corporation|
|Multi-solver physics engine||13/905989||9457277||2013-5-30||2016-10-4||Roblox Corporation|
|Pass-structured game platform||13/708413||9199170||2012-12-7||2015-12-1||Roblox Corporation|
|Motivational score||14/223395||9901833||2014-3-24||2018-2-27||Roblox Corporation|
Baszucki lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and their four children.