What your startup can learn from the Navy SEALs

Karthik Ramakrishnan Element AI

In these unprecedented times, entrepreneurs need all the help they can get. BetaKit has teamed up with Microsoft for Startups on a new series called Just One Thing, where startup founders and tech leaders share the ‘one thing’ they want the next generation of entrepreneurs to learn.

“Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds.”
– Karthik Ramakrishnan

As Element AI’s VP of AI Strategy and Enablement, Karthik Ramakrishnan spends a lot of time talking to enterprises around the world about artificial intelligence. It also means that he gets to talk to global leaders about their teams, and how they build them.

Surprisingly, in his Just One Thing video, Ramakrishnan shares advice learned not from global enterprise, but U.S. special operations force the Navy SEALs.

“There’s a very famous Navy SEALs saying,” Ramakrishnan says. “‘Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds.'”

For Ramakrishnan, building a team that can beat the odds requires putting together individuals that can amplify each other’s strengths, and compensate for each other’s weaknesses. Doing that requires scaling a culture that can provide and receive direct feedback.

As Ramakrishnan says in the video below, “feedback is never given, it is shared.”

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.