John Mullins, London Business School

John Mullins, Associate Professor of Management Practice, London Business School

John Mullins is an Associate Professor of Management Practice at the London Business School. He earned his MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. An award-winning teacher and scholar and one of the world’s foremost thought leaders in entrepreneurship, John brings to his teaching and research 20 years of executive experience in high-growth retailing firms, including two ventures he founded and one he took public.

Since becoming an entrepreneurship professor in 1992, John has published five books, more than 50 cases, and more than 50 articles in a variety of outlets, including Harvard Business Review, the MIT Sloan Management Review, and The Wall Street Journal. His research has won national and international awards from the Marketing Science Institute, the American Marketing Association, and the Richard D. Irwin Foundation. He is a frequent and sought-after speaker and educator for audiences in entrepreneurship and venture capital.

John’s first trade book, The New Business Road Test: What Entrepreneurs and Executives Should Do Before Launching a Lean Start-Up (1e 2003; 5e, London: FT 2017), has become the definitive work on the assessment and shaping of entrepreneurial opportunities and is widely used by investors and entrepreneurs and in university courses and workshops worldwide.

His second book, the critically acclaimed Getting to Plan B: Breaking Through to a Better Business Model (Boston: Harvard Business Press 2009), co-authored with Randy Komisar, a partner at the esteemed venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, was named to “Best Books of 2009” lists by BusinessWeek and INC Magazine.

John’s third book, The Customer-Funded Business: Start, Finance or Grow Your Company with Your Customers’ Cash (Jersey City: Wiley 2014), was named one of five “not-to-be-missed books” for 2014 by Fortune magazine. It challenges the commonly held assumption that among an entrepreneur’s first and most important tasks is that of raising investment capital. Its material provides the foundation for John’s widely viewed MOOC on Coursera, How to Finance and Grow Your Startup – Without VC.

John’s newest book, Break the Rules! The Six Counter-Conventional Mindsets of Entrepreneurs That Can Help Anyone Change the World (Jersey City: Wiley 2023), identifies what makes entrepreneurs “entrepreneurial” and provides a roadmap for how anyone can adopt and master these mindsets to challenge assumptions, overcome obstacles, mitigate risk, and perhaps change the world.


John has done executive education on five continents for a variety of organizations both large and small, including the Young Presidents’ Organization, Endeavor, the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Kenya Airways, Merck-Serono, 3M, the European and African Venture Capital Associations, and the IFC, among many others. He has served on the boards of fast-growing entrepreneurial companies in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, and Asia. Listen to John on the From Founder to CEO podcast.

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