At Summit: Elwin Loomis hails from the Store of the Future

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Title says it all

Elwin Loomis isn’t your everyday Director of Engineering. In fact, he’s not the Director of Engineering. He’s Target‘s Senior Director, Store of the Future. This unique title is important to him, because it symbolizes doing things differently. And Loomis is all about doing things differently.

Elwin is an engineer, a creator, a doer. But he’s no longer just hacking code—he’s hacking culture. Doers like Elwin get to ask the questions that he was asking the Summit 2016 crowd:

“What does your ideal workplace look like? What is the work that you do? Who do you want to work with, mentor, and be mentored by? What causes do you support?”

How business used to be

In the past, if you wanted your business to grow large, it took considerable investment in physical and digital resources. Infrastructure was the barrier to entry that kept the competition at bay. For a retail business like Target, these barriers included the supply chain, real estate, and relationships with manufacturers.

Today, these barriers are breaking down. The internet and other technologies bring improvements to manufacturing, creating, and funding businesses that make it possible to start up cheaply. And the amplification effect—how Loomis describes the ability of small teams to behave like big teams through repeatable processes, self-service, and automation—lets even tiny organizations appear quite large. If big companies cannot match these nimble upstarts, they will die.

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