ERIC BASU: A LIFELONG LEARNER
THIS SEPTEMBER, Eric Basu’s company, Haiku, is rolling out an advanced cyber security computer game. Earlier this year Haiku released a less challenging consumer version you can buy for $24.99. Both these products teach cybersecurity skills in a gaming environment and are designed to connect individuals to career opportunities.
“Computer games actually teach us skills,” said Eric. “So why not repurpose video games to teach real skills like Cybersecurity?”
So far, the response from the cyber community is overwhelmingly positive. “People said we have been wanting this for years. You guys are the first ones to do this.”
So, how did a college Molecular Biology major, who decided to become a Navy SEAL and then entrepreneur, start a video cybersecurity gaming company? The answer, in many ways, stems back to BUD/S and a relentless determination to learn, to adapt, and to never quit.
From an early age Eric’s father encouraged him to become an engineer. His dad, who immigrated from India, also pushed him to learn the martial arts and to pursue a military career. It was not until much later he learned his dad’s family was Kshatriya — the warrior caste. Of course, like most children, he ignored his dad and earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology. “I planned on getting a graduate degree and going into cancer research.”
Then, according to Eric, he got a “wild hair up his ass” and decided to go into special forces. “The only service that would let me go directly into special forces was the Navy. They had 8–10 SEAL billets out of Officer Candidate School.”
Eric started with Class 162 and rolled back to 164 because of a leg injury just before Hell Week. “I think a couple of things got me through. I was able to shut off my mind during high-
suck exercises and not overthink them. Primarily though, I didn’t want to be on my deathbed at the end of my life and not feel like I had given my 100% to the challenge. I would have always been wondering ‘what if I had tried a little harder or lasted a little longer’? I didn’t want that.”