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  • Ernie Diaz

Chief Contemplative Officer

Lifestyle products are largely made in China, then journey west. Lifestyle trends, the opposite. That's the context we see around Bytedance CEO Zhang Yiming's stepping down. CEOs of orgs from Disney to Linkedin, Hulu to GM, even Amazon's reclusive leader, have been taking steps to reinvent their roles. Suddenly, a bird's eye view of the mountains of executable BS is more valuable than being on top of them, with a shovel.

Since Zhang invented the secret tech sauce that made Bytedance so hot, such big-picture pullback makes sense. In his resignation letter, Zhang lamented his lack of time keeping up with machine learning. Remember it was his algorithms for instant fame that rocketed TikTok to preeminence, and have Zuckerberg short-circuiting with impotent rage.

"It's not just the tangible metrics that China is closing the gap on," says Edward Lehman. "Just as we're seeing nouveau riche giving way to refined consumers, we're witnessing less importance placed on acronyms like GDP & CEO, and lifestyle balance being weighted more heavily against salary."

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