Sky Rota

My name is Sky. I’m 14 years old & in 9th grade. I am a blogger/vlogger, athlete, author, entrepreneur & Generation Z consultant. I’m severely dyslexic & have ADHD. I attend a school for kids who learn differently. I am sadly considered disabled as far as the ADA is concerned. I don’t use the term (Learning Disabled) because I do NOT consider myself disabled! Just because I can’t learn in a conventional manner doesn’t make me disabled. Most of all, I don’t allow my differences to define me. I know first hand how my Generation thinks, moves, plays, spends & creates. We aren’t like any Generation before us, and yes, we start at a young age. I consider myself a young ambitious entrepreneur who specializes in consulting with educators, parents, therapists, businesses & brands regarding everything Gen Z. I am an authority on Dyslexia, ADHD, learning disabilities & know first hand what it's like to be bullied for being different. I consult on everything generation Z related. Author of: “The Gen Z Answer Key for Business” by Sky Rota -- The go-to guide for marketing to Generation Z . I’m on an endless mission to give Generation Z an outlet to show the world their strengths. Author of: "Look Mom, I’m the Dumest One in My Clas" -- The true story of nine-year-old Sky Rota, who during the fourth grade discovers he is severely dyslexic. Hopeful that his school would be understanding and help him embrace and develop his unique methods of learning, his parents soon realized that they would have to fight for him. Instead of encouraging Sky, his teachers punish him for his “weaknesses.” His school saw his dyslexia as a disability as well, labeling him as different and an outsider. Sky and his parents quickly learn dyslexia comes with as many gifts as it does challenges.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2019

    Is Apple’s App Store a monopoly?

    Unless you are an app developer You prob have zero idea how the app stores work. The Apple/Google Play store takes 30 percent from every app that has in-app purchases, forever! The apps that offer subscription services like Netflix, Xfinity, Prime Video, dating apps etc. they take 30 percent for the first year and 15 percent each year after, forever! They are your forever partner that you didn't ask for! Apps have had to charge the public or at least split the loss to cover Apple's 30 percent extortion, yes, charge people more! Not because they want to. The Google Play store allows you to have an app outside of their store, but still on their phone, where you can download from the app's websites and choose to bypass the 30 percent extortion. Which is why the Google Play store is not a monopoly. Ex: Epic games ”Fortnite,” Prime Video, Netflix, etc. are big enough to refuse to be extorted from Apple any longer and send new customers to their website to pay and only use the apps to stream content, no money transactions through the app. “Apple argued that only app developers, not users, should be able to bring such a suit.” The thing is, Apple is GOD! No developer on the planet, not even Epic games or Netflix will challenge Apple or bring a suit for fear Apple will throw you out of the their Apple Store! End of story! Now is that a monopoly or what?! There is no higher form of “excessive possession and control” than Apple's power over what goes on THEIR phones! If the world continues to allow this behavior one day you will look up "monopoly" on Wikipedia and it will say “Apple”! I don’t see any issue in the retail market regarding Apple's monopoly. Oh and there is no way Apple is loosing this case, their App Store brought in $11.5 billion in revenue last year for them after developers were paid. People have no idea this is where they make their money! It’s not from selling their products! Sadly, Apple is crippling any newcomers in the app world, no start ups or small developers can afford to have a 30 percent silent partner forever! And aren’t big enough to send customers to their websites to make purchases like Prime Video and Netflix does! Game over!
  • Posted on: 02/25/2019

    Should district managers be held more accountable for store performance?

    I wasn’t aware of this but DMs should have always been held accountable for the success of the stores in their district. We are just addressing this now? Then someone said, “DMs were often former managers.” So they received a promotion and no one taught them how to run the ins and outs of their stores? Why wouldn’t you have always given them the top management skills along with expectations of their district's success and give them some skin in the game! These DMs need an incentive, set them up for success not failure! Educate them, give them incentives so they feel like it’s their own stores. This is how you make a team work, together.
  • Posted on: 02/11/2019

    Foot Locker makes $100M leap into the sneaker re-seller space

    This is a no-brainer decision from Foot Locker, it shows how forward-thinking they are. I don’t believe GOAT will have any presence in Foot Locker stores. The fact is, when you go to buy sneakers and Foot Locker says they don’t have anymore, they know we all run to the secondary markets to get them. So why not own part of one. Now, when you are at Foot Locker and probably online as well when they say they don’t have the shoe you want in stock anymore they will get on their phones and check to see if they can order you them or there will be a link straight to GOAT from their website! That’s how they will lock down more sales! Fantastic move Foot Locker, this is only the beginning of the resale shoe market!
  • Posted on: 01/29/2019

    New Foot Locker concept is powered by local culture

    Consider this a Foot Locker Event Center! They know how to get the customers there, it will be through our social media influencers. They won’t even need to do the marketing. Foot Locker already said they will have “DJs and rappers.” The sneaker industry is booming and just getting started. “Last year, the U.S. athletic footwear industry generated $17.5 billion.” The sneaker “resale” industry is worth $1 billion. I myself am a Generation Z sneakerhead! I own over 20 pairs of high-end collectible sneakers, yes, collectible. Nike has become the top fashion brand and their collaborations with mega-influencers are being show on the Paris runways. Sneakers aren’t just for running and basketball players anymore. They are one of the most highly collectible items of today and Foot Locker is creating standalone stores so they can accommodate the tons of fans that will be driven their way by the influencers blowing them up!
  • Posted on: 01/07/2019

    Retailers are shutting down their NYC flagships

    No regrets! Thankfully these retailers were really good at purchasing fantastic and historic buildings back in the day or they would possibly have no worth today. Look at Macy's real estate, with an estimated value of $16 billion, it's worth more than the company's market value of $6.4 billion. Their San Francisco’s Union Square city block store and offices alone are probably worth a few billion and they are selling them off in chunks. Sadly those huge magnificent stores aren’t full of shoppers anymore like years ago. Times have changed, there are other means of shopping options. I believe you have to downsize and stay open where your business is. You can’t keep a flagship store open for appearances. It’s still business. And honestly none of the newer generations will ever miss them not being there. No worries, we will go to the other smaller locations. I understand this change thing is really tough for older generations. Generation Z wakes up to change on a daily sometimes hourly basis. Our life is a constant update, we are pros as accepting change.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2018

    What’s next for Small Business Saturday?

    I would say it should be worrisome as I have never heard of “Small Business Saturday.” I’m thinking it’s going to be called “Invisible Saturday” if they don’t get to my generation pretty quickly.
  • Posted on: 11/27/2018

    Can online unboxing videos turn Walmart into ‘America’s Best Toy Shop?’

    Web who? Lol, and I’m sure that was wayyy before any social media existed.
  • Posted on: 11/27/2018

    Can online unboxing videos turn Walmart into ‘America’s Best Toy Shop?’

    With all due respect, you said, “I’ll be watching how consumers take to this with interest.” The “Consumer” in this case are kids. Kids didn’t and aren’t watching this video as they aren’t subscribed to Walmart’s YouTube channel. This video only got 7,600 views in one week! It bombed!
  • Posted on: 11/27/2018

    Can online unboxing videos turn Walmart into ‘America’s Best Toy Shop?’

    Walmart is trying, but still missing. First of all, who is going to their website? Who is going to their YouTube channel? Not kids! The reason Ryan’s Toy Review works is because he has 17 million followers, who are all kids who tune in to watch the videos and tell their parents exactly what to get them. He is selling directly to the kids. Walmart’s YouTube channel has 26,000 followers. The math is simple. Mr. Kizer mentioned that he had to show his nephew the “website” video. That tells you right there that NO kid is stumbling upon this video as Walmart didn’t have an influencer marketing this for them from their own channel. Walmart didn’t even bother to hire a micro-influencer which would be less expensive than a “Ryan.” Shame on them. You guys are hopefully going to wake up one day and understand that you have to come to where we are, what channels we watch/follow and like! It’s not that hard when you have the right people doing your marketing research. Today, the answers are right in front of you, numbers included. It’s really that simple.
  • Posted on: 10/29/2018

    Stores find that kids can be scarier than a bull in a china shop

    I’m 14 yrs old and have witnessed the poor behavior of kids today. Let’s be honest, it’s not the kids it’s the parents. My parents are older and tolerate nothing from my four siblings and myself. We know the rules and follow them wherever we go. The only place I see tons of kids entering and having no problems whatsoever is the gym. I go to Lifetime Fitness and they have a daycare where moms and dads are coming in dropping off three kids at a time so they can workout in peace. I can only see this solution working in big mall areas. Give a daycare option and watch the parents drop off their kids so they can shop in peace. Yes, I know it’s not a common practice for shopping because no one has done it, but why not try? It’s hugely successful in gyms. Kids and parents are happy, it’s a win-win.
  • Posted on: 10/10/2018

    Will Best Buy’s golden years strategy deliver long-term success?

    As my mom would say, “we are older longer than we are young.” I think this is a fantastic idea. However older generations don't just need medical alert tools, they need technology lessons. Best Buy’s needs to offer in-home sessions on texting and video calling and sharing. Call it “Texting Tuesdays” if you want, but get our elderly up to speed with their kids and grandkids. Don’t leave our grand people in the Dark Ages. Let them be able to communicate with their families in real time. Send out high-school and college volunteers to senior places, etc. and ask all your customers if they would like some free text messaging lessons. Have in-store volunteers teaching texting and sharing pics with anyone who is interested. There is an entire world of elderly not so elder, that are missing out on today’s sharing because no one taught them how. Remember, no child left behind. How about, no parent left behind?
  • Posted on: 10/02/2018

    Can a new store concept jumpstart a turnaround for H&M?

    I hate to say it but Zara is the new H&M. Although stores like those for me personally seem overwhelming with way to much stuff to dig through. I honestly don't ever go in them. I like the clean fresh concept where we can see the clothes on smaller racks and more boutique looking. Example: Flight 23 stores. Lots of sporting goods stores are going this way. Gen Zers are drawn to the look and feel of the stores' easy flow. Being a generation of ADHDers we need to get in, buy and get out. We aren’t searching through 30-foot racks to find something we like. My idea of a perfect store -- all the mannequins are wearing the clothes. On Saturday I actually bought a sweatsuit right off the mannequin, no searching involved!
  • Posted on: 09/10/2018

    It’s no more ‘burn, baby, burn’ for Burberry

    One more thing, I’m thinking the people doing the $37 million in overbuying or ordering, etc. are the ones who need to be fired! Who is keeping track of inventory projections? Once again I’m thinking they have zero idea what they are doing! This is absolutely ridiculous! Someone better get into these companies & start checking!
  • Posted on: 09/10/2018

    It’s no more ‘burn, baby, burn’ for Burberry

    Wow! This is shocking. The first time I’m hearing about the burning of unsold inventory, but I’m only 14 and getting an education on the fly. “Burberry said in its statement that it already reuses, repairs, donates or recycles unsaleable products and would expand on these efforts.” Yet still burned $37 million worth of clothes?! I’m thinking you need to be donating way more than you do! How does one earn a stock credit for destroying stock? How about the tax credit for donating? I can’t believe this has gone on, doesn’t anyone know there are people out there with no clothes? How has no one done anything to stop this horrific practice of burning perfectly fine goods? “We do not like to sell our goods in discounted stores.” For goodness sake just cut the tags out and give the goods to people who need them! No one will know it’s not a knock off!
  • Posted on: 08/02/2018

    Six-year-old YouTuber is the face of Walmart’s new toy line

    Age doesn’t matter! This influencer is bringing 15 million new followers and more potential shoppers for Walmart. This influencer's age is actually the safest bet for any brand influencing. He more than likely isn’t going to bring any bad press to your brand. Brands are scouring YouTube searching for their next ambassadors. Good for you Walmart, you backed a great one!
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