David Cook

  • Blockbuster LLC

David Cook is the founder of Blockbuster, LLC, a video rental company. The first store opened in 1985 in Dallas Texas, after Cook decided to use his knowledge of managing data bases to create a new kind of store. As Cook puts it, “I determined there might be a bigger industry there,” after studying a video store franchise for a friend. Cook predicted that one day his one Blockbuster store could become 1,500. “The first night we were so mobbed we had to lock the doors to prevent more people from coming in,” recalls Cook, whose inventory system used bar codes to track the movements of 10,000 films per store.

Cook tailored the movie offerings in each store to the neighborhood the store was located, another innovation which added to the company’s success. After one year Cook met Wayne Huizenga, who agreed to invest about $18 million in return for veto power. After Cook had a dispute with one of Huizenga’s executives, Cook decided to leave Blockbuster, taking about $20 million with him.

Since his days at Blockbuster Cook invested $2.2 million in Amtech, which uses radio frequencies to identify moving objects; a technology useful for tracking railroad cars, but also at toll booths. He created a similar, successor company to Amtech called ZixCorp.

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