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App Kid: How a Child of Immigrants Grabbed a Piece of the American Dream


An inspiring and deeply personal coming of age memoir from one of Silicon Valley’s youngest entrepreneurs—a second-generation Latino immigrant who taught himself how to code as a thirteen-year-old and went on to claim his share of the American dream.

As his parents watched their restaurant business collapse in the wake of the Great Recession, Michael Sayman was googling “how to code.” Within a year, he had launched an iPhone app that was raking in thousands of dollars a month, enough to keep his family afloat—and in America. 

Entirely self-taught, Sayman headed from high school straight into the professional world, and by the time he was seventeen, he was Facebook’s youngest employe ever, building new features that wowed its founder Mark Zuckerberg and are now being used by more than half a billion people every day. Sayman pushed Facebook to build its own version of Snapchat’s Stories and, as a result, engagement on the platform soared across all demographics. Millions of Gen Z and Millennials flocked to Facebook, and as teen engagement rose dramatically on Instagram and WhatsApp, Snapchat’s parent company suffered a billion-dollar loss in value. Three years later, Sayman jumped ship for Google.

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