John W. Mullins
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About John W. Mullins
John Mullins is an Associate Professor of Management Practice in Entrepreneurship and Marketing 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, 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 a business school professor in 1992, John has published five books, numerous cases and more than 40 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 speaker to audiences in entrepreneurship and venture capital.
John's first (and now recently updated) trade book, The New Business Road Test: What Entrepreneurs and Investors Should Do Before Launching a Lean Start-Up (5e, London: Prentice-Hall/FT 2017), now in its fifth edition, is the definitive work on the assessment and shaping of market opportunities. It's a go-to reference for entrepreneurs and investors alike, all over the world.
His second, the widely 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 Caufield & Byers in California, was named to "Best Books of 2009" lists by BusinessWeek and INC Magazine.
John’s newest 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 widely held assumption that among an entrepreneur’s first and most important tasks is that of raising investment capital.
John has consulted with and done executive education on five continents for a variety of organizations both large and small, including Endeavor, Kenya Airways, Merck-Serono, Time Warner Communications, the European and African Venture Capital Associations, Pumpkin Ltd., the Young Presidents Organization, the Entrepreneurs' Organization, and the International Finance Corporation of The World Bank, among numerous others. He has served on the boards of fast-growing entrepreneurial companies in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, and Asia.
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Books By John W. Mullins
You have a new venture in mind. And you've crafted a business plan so detailed it's a work of art. Don't get too attached to it.
As John Mullins and Randy Komisar explain in Getting to Plan B, new businesses are fraught with uncertainty. To succeed, you must change the plan in real time as the inevitable challenges arise. In fact, studies show that entrepreneurs who stick slavishly to their Plan A stand a greater chance of failing-and that many successful businesses barely resemble their founders' original idea.
The authors provide a rigorous process for stress testing your Plan A and determining how to alter it so your business makes money, solves customers' needs, and endures. You'll discover strategies for:
-Identifying the leap-of-faith assumptions hidden in your plan
-Testing those assumptions and unearthing why the plan might not work
-Reconfiguring the five components of your business model-revenue model, gross margin model, operating model, working capital model, and investment model-to create a sounder Plan B.
Filled with success stories and cautionary tales, this book offers real cases illustrating the authors' unique process. Whether your idea is for a start-up or a new business unit within your organization, Getting to Plan B contains the road map you need to reach success.
ROAD TEST YOUR IDEA BEFORE YOU LAUNCH YOUR LEAN START-UP
Thinking about starting a new business? Stop! Is there a genuine market for your idea? Do you really want to compete in that industry? Are you the right person to pursue it? No matter how talented you are or how much capital you have, if you’re pursuing a fundamentally flawed opportunity then you’re heading for failure. So before you launch your lean start-up, take your idea for a test drive and make sure it has a fighting chance of working.
Now in its 4th Edition, The New Business Road Test is the essential handbook for anyone wanting to launch a start-up. The new and fully updated case studies – Ella's Kitchen, Whole Foods, eBay and more – and ‘seven domains’ framework will help you avoid impending disaster and enhance your chances of achieving your entrepreneurial dreams.
This book will help you answer the live-or-die questions:
- Are the market and industry attractive?
- Does the opportunity offer both customer benefits as well as competitive and economic sustainability?
- Can you deliver the results you seek?
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But the vast majority of fast-growing companies never take any venture capital. So where does the money come from to start and grow their companies? From a much more agreeable and hospitable source, their customers. That's exactly what Michael Dell, Bill Gates and Banana Republic's Mel and Patricia Ziegler did to get their companies up and running and turn them into iconic brands.
In The Customer Funded Business, best-selling author John Mullins uncovers five novel approaches that scrappy and innovative21st century entrepreneurs working in companies large and small have ingeniously adapted from their predecessors like Dell, Gates,and the Zieglers:
- Matchmaker models (Airbnb)
- Pay-in-advance models (Threadless)
- Subscription models (TutorVista)
- Scarcity models (Vente Privee)
- Service-to-product models (GoViral)
Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur lacking the start-up capital you need, an early-stage entrepreneur trying to get your cash-starved venture into take-off mode, an intrapreneur seeking funding within an established company, or an angel investor or mentor who supports high-potential ventures, this book offers the most sure-footed path to starting, financing, or growing your venture.
John Mullins is the author of The New Business Road Test and, with Randy Komisar, the widely acclaimed Getting to Plan B.