Michael Sayman: the engineer with a Peruvian mother and the story of how he conquered Facebook, Twitter and Google | metaverse | app kids | Silicon Valley | publication | ec stories | ARE

The statement is understandable if we take into account that, since he was 13 years old, Michael has lived in a constant maelstrom due to his work in the technology industry. At that age he developed his first video game application for Apple, given the need to contribute to household expenses, after his parents, Latino migrants who have lived on North American soil for several decades – he is Bolivian; she, Peruvian – lost their jobs due to the financial crisis of 2008.

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“I would have liked to have a normal life, like that of any teenager. I felt very pressured and that affected my performance at school. My grades were very bad. I had a hard time socializing.”confess.

At 17 he was hired by Facebook, becoming the youngest engineer in the company’s history. And at 21, already with an estimated fortune of $10 million, he took over as product manager at Google.

Michael says that it was Mark Zuckerberg himself who contacted him by email to become part of his company. For three years he worked on the development of products for teenagers, such as the famous stories from Instagram. “With Mark we met weekly to talk about the projects we were working on and I gave them his approval”recalls the young engineer. “He was always quite friendly. To this day we have communication, but I try to bother him a lot… He is very busy right now with his metaverse”.

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Mark Zuckerberg hired Sayman when he was 17 years old. The Facebook CEO found out about him through the “4 snaps” app, a turn-based photo game created by the young engineer.

On the direction that Facebook is taking, oriented towards the connection and interaction of users in virtual or alternative worlds, Michael has an opinion. “It’s the only way for Facebook to survive”emphasizes. “They do not own the cell phones, only the applications. So they have been forced to create a product that allows them to be in control of the software”complements.


From his time in Silicon Valley, Michael says he learned two things: listen to those who knew more than him and understand that he wasn’t always going to be right. “I, practically, during the second part of my adolescence, I was raised by Facebook executives”, laugh. “It was not easy to get used to my new life. I had never left my house. I lost a bunch of weight, I panicked being in a different world,” she adds.

All those experiences, good and bad, ups and downs, decided to capture them in the book ‘App Kid: how a son of immigrants got a piece of the American dream’. A few days ago, invited by the United States Embassy in Peru, he visited the cities of Arequipa, Cusco and Lima to meet with his followers and present and comment on the publication. Likewise, andHe led the cycle of talks ‘Technology for Everyone’, where, as an LGTBI activist, he spoke about the opportunities offered by the technological world, without discriminating against place of origin and gender.

“Most stories of successful people, to put it one way, are flawed. If I am going to tell my story and it can serve as an inspiration for other people, I have to be honest and tell the good and not so good”he argues.

In Lima, Michael Sayman gave a talk at the ICPNA in Miraflores, moderated by El Comercio journalist Bruno Ortiz.
In Lima, Michael Sayman gave a talk at the ICPNA in Miraflores, moderated by El Comercio journalist Bruno Ortiz.

Michael believes that anyone, with effort, dedication and an interest in technology, can carve out a path like he did. “You don’t have to be a genius to learn programming”says. “Everything I learned was self-taught, because I liked video games. I think we all have that ability to learn things on our own.”.

That is why he maintains that Peru, a country that is struggling to close connectivity gaps, is a space with potential for the development of technological solutions. “Internet access has changed things. Today we can access information, books and specialized sites that can teach us how to create applications and new products”Explain.

These days he is away from large corporations, but he is immersed in his most personal project: Friendly Apps, a social network that seeks to help people “to connect in a friendly way, taking care of their mental health and physical well-being.” “What most social networks do is play with human psychology and take advantage of the need we have to be included in some group,” explains Michael Sayman. “There are many beautiful ways to connect with others, without being focused on likes, comments, or followers, as if we lived in a point system”, he concludes. //


an extraordinary story

In his autobiography, Michael Sayman tells how he became a millionaire creating mobile apps and how he helped his family get ahead as a teenager. It can be downloaded for free through the “book cloud” or purchased physically at the main bookstores in the country.

an extraordinary story



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