The tech revolution has made plenty of young tech geeks very rich.
Whether it be Steve Jobs or Snapchat's Evan Spiegel, the cult of personality has put the increasingly wealthy tech leaders on the same footing as rock stars and celebrities. And below them is an army of wizkids who grew up coding and creating software, and seemingly have the world at their feet.
One of them is Michael Sayman.
At the age of 13, he made an app that proved wildly popular with other kids on the Apple Store and pretty soon the cheques started rolling in. As a young teen he was making as much as $US12,000 a month by building apps.
He still had braces when Facebook hired him as a software engineer at the age of 17. By 18, the social media giant gave him a full time job as an engineer. He has just turned 21 (meaning he can finally drink a beer legally) and has taken up a new job at Google.
His story has all the hallmarks of success. But like most things in life, it's not quite as glamorous as it appears.
"It wasn't all pretty from the start, and it's far from perfect today," he wrote this week in a revealing Facebook post.
As the son of immigrant parents from Peru and Bolivia, his family moved to the US to chase the American dream. While they worked around the clock at a Peruvian chicken restaurant they opened, Michael became obsessed with the internet and online computer games.
"I never doubted that the internet had all the answers," he wrote.
He started a blog about his favourite online game called Club Penguin and in a bid to get more page views decided to create a mobile app about the game. To his surprise it sold 42 copies the very first day, then 100 copies the next day, and 150 the day after that.
Pretty soon it broke into the top ten apps. He freaked out and woke his dad up to tell him the news, but his parents didn't understand the world he was quietly conquering.
"After the first month, things got real. Apple had sent me my first cheque containing about $US5,000," he recalled, saying his mum couldn't believe her eyes.
"She was so proud and shocked at the same time. I couldn't describe the emotion in her at that moment."
She travelled with her son the first time he met Mark Zuckerberg who soon offered him a job. But in the meantime, his financial success proved more imperative than he thought.
The American dream was proving elusive and the teenager began to use his money to keep a roof over his head.
"All of my money was going to providing for my family. I didn't think anything of it, because what was I going to do with $12,000 a month? I was 14!
"But the pressure of paying the bills started to increase and my grades in middle school started to go down fast."
While he was trying to help his family from financial ruin, Michael was becoming a huge celebrity in his parent's homeland after the media heard about the 13-year-old who made popular apps.
He did countless media interviews and when he travelled to South America to give talks and media appearances he was often swarmed by fans - other kids who admired and wanted to emulate his success.
One TV crew even travelled to the US and followed him around school filming what his days were like.
"I appeared to be the pillar of success to thousands of kids all over, and meanwhile, in my family, our situation continued to get worse," he wrote.
Pretty soon his family lost their house.
"I studied the app market more, focused on the young teen demographic, and continued to work all day and night on what apps I could make that could help my family stay afloat," he wrote.
"I think my stress levels were way too high. I wasn't being a kid - my childhood was over at that moment. My job was to provide for my family and I would do everything I could do accomplish that."
But shortly after his family lost the restaurant business as well.
"Meanwhile, in the public, I was the 'successful kid who built apps and inspires others.'
"Kids needed to know that my "success story" was as far from ideal as imaginable," he wrote under the headline: "A Fake Smile".
Fast forward to today, and Mr Sayman confirmed this week that he is leaving Facebook after three years as a product manager to work for Google.
At arguably the most famous tech company in the world, he'll be a product manager for a voice-based service built on the search engine's giant database, which is reported to be a top priority for Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
"My story of imperfection and realism is one that tells every parent and child the life I was living wasn't perfect happiness, or millions of dollars, or anything like that. This story was one of struggle."
As he navigated two very different realities as a teenager, he felt compelled to deliver a positive message of hope and hard work but has since come to realise that the truth about his family's struggles is perhaps the most helpful story of all.
"I tell my story of failure in an effort to talk about what's wrong with my success story. Am I afraid? Yes.
"But as teens in this generation of the internet, we have to be OK with talking about our imperfect stories. We have to be OK with being afraid. And we have to push ourselves to be bold."