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What Michael Sayman Knows about LGBT Success

Let’s meet Michael Sayman; the App Kid

The App Kid, Michael Sayman, has had wild rides with success and money. Here’s what he can teach LGBTQ folks about success, money and happiness. Start your journey to financial independence by getting rid of any credit card debt with the free, 7-Step Credit Card Debt Slasher.

Michael Sayman shares his Queer Money story 

Michael Sayman published his first top-charting app at the tender age of 13 and was hired as Facebook’s youngest engineer at 17. But while it might seem like Michael’s life was perfect, there was a lot happening behind the scenes.

His immigrant family was struggling to keep their restaurant open and a roof over their heads. The weight of the family’s finances rested on Michael’s success building apps, and his physical and mental health suffered.

And then Michael realized he was gay.

Today, Michael is the Founder and CEO of Friendly Apps, a startup on a mission to help people connect in ways that are friendly to their mental health and physical well-being. He is also the author of the memoir, App Kid: How a Child of Immigrants Grabbed a Piece of the American Dream.

On this episode of Queer Money®, Michael joins us to discuss how his early financial success created tension with his family and why he feels like he skipped parts of his childhood. Michael explains how having financial stability influenced his decision to come out and describes the pressure he feels to represent the gay community in Peru and Bolivia.

Listen in for Michael’s insight on the relationship between money and freedom—and learn his approach to building social networking apps that support our mental health.

Listen to Michael Sayman’s story:

Topics Covered

  • Why Michael sees money as the key to freedom
  • How Michael’s early financial success created tension with his immigrant parents
  • Michael’s experience with imposter syndrome
  • Why Michael suggests thinking long-term when it comes to money
  • How Michael developed fiscal responsibility at a young age
  • Why Michael feels like he skipped parts of childhood (and what he’s doing about it)
  • Why Michael didn’t come out as gay until age 19
  • Michael’s concerns that he wouldn’t be taken seriously if people knew he was gay
  • How being in the public eye and having financial stability influenced Michael’s decision to come out
  • The pressure Michael feels to represent the gay community well in Peru & Bolivia
  • Michael’s role in developing Instagram stories
  • How Michael thinks about building apps that are good for our mental health


Watch this week’s episode with Michael Sayman

Previous 3 Podcast Episodes

Connect with MIchael 



Connect with David and John


We’re David and John Auten-Schneider, the Debt Free Guys ( and hosts of the Queer Money® podcast. We help queer people (and allies) live fabulously not fabulously broke by helping them 1) pay off credit card debt, 2) become part- or full-time entrepreneurs and 3) save and invest for retirement.

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