Take Two Yields One Speedy Startup

After a failed first venture, Will Anderson relied on a faster, leaner business idea-testing process in his hunt for the next big thing

Will Anderson, a 2006 Stanford B-school graduate, knows something about making the most out of a business failure. Despite winning the 2005 Business Association of Stanford Engineering Students (BASES) business-plan contest, his company, Adaptive Hearing Solutions (AHS), which aimed to revolutionize the hearing aid industry with its sound filtering technology, proved to be a dud (see BusinessWeek.com, 12/12/2006, "The Afterlife of Business Plan Contest Winners"). "We had gotten to the point where we could test the technology, but in the end, the tests didn't pan out," says Anderson. "The assumptions didn't hold, and we had to give up. Otherwise, we could have spent four years trying to make something out of nothing."

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