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Aussies Of The Bay – Dean Flynn

Name, job, part of the San Francisco Bay Area you live in

Dean Flynn, Co-founder & CEO of Foyer, Greenbrae, Marin

When did you first come to the Bay and what’s the backstory there?

Moved permanently in 2016 to launch Foyer a retail software business. I was doing the long commute, staying in SF for a month at a time for about 9 months or so before I moved the family over permanently. Moved permanently in 2016 to launch Foyer, a retail software business. I was doing the long commute, staying in SF for a month at a time for about 9 months or so before I moved the family over permanently.

Hardest thing about moving here?

I get asked this a bit by locals. Life here is pretty similar when you take a broad look at it, but I think it is the hundreds of little differences that take time to adjust to. Words that you use that are met with blank stares or a laugh, and every now and then you’re faced with the fact that you’re a foreigner.

Such as being a part of a group discussion about things which are part of growing up in the States, high school, college life, etc. It’s not a bad thing per se, an obvious part of living in another country, but it’s definitely something that’s harder than when I catch up with other Aussie expat mates here. You can let down your guard and relax.

Favorite Bay Area memory to date?

There are many, going to friends massive family thanksgiving dinners, street parties in our neighborhood, halloween, Christmas caroling after a few too many, and mountain biking around Marin would be up there. There are many: Going to friends’ massive family Thanksgiving dinners, street parties in our neighborhood, Halloween, Christmas caroling after a few too many, and mountain biking around Marin would be up there.

What impact has being Australian had on your life here? In dating? In work?

The accent breaks the ice so that is a good conversation starter. But there is definitely a different business and social etiquette here. Re-learning the unwritten rules takes some adjustment. The entrenched Aussie behavior of putting yourself down has to be flipped to pointing out your highlights.

Otherwise your self put down will be met with looks of confusion, or words of support saying you shouldn’t feel that way about yourself. The accent breaks the ice so that is a good conversation starter. But there is definitely a different business and social etiquette here. Re-learning the unwritten rules takes some adjustment.

The entrenched Aussie behavior of putting yourself down has to be flipped to pointing out your highlights. Otherwise, your self putdown will be met with looks of confusion, or words of support saying you shouldn’t feel that way about yourself.

Most American thing you’ve experienced in your time here?

Loading our kids into the back of a decorated “truck” for the annual softball/baseball opening parade and watching them being driven down the main streets with Police and Fire Engine escort is probably it. You’ve got to win the AFL grand final to get that honor back home.

Best advice for anyone who is thinking of coming over?

For families moving over, we did a couple of reconnaissance trips with the whole family spending time here. We got the lay of the land and figured out where we wanted to live. I think that helped the family and particularly the kids be more settled when we moved as they knew what to expect.

I’d definitely recommend doing that if you have that luxury. As much as I like the Bay Area, if you are thinking of opening a company office here or looking to set up, I’d consider whether you need to be here in particular. The costs of living are high, making business costs high.

We got the lay of the land and figured out where we wanted to live. I think that helped the family and particularly the kids be more settled when we moved as they knew what to expect. I’d definitely recommend doing that if you have that luxury.

As much as I like the Bay Area, if you are thinking of opening a company office here or looking to set up, I’d consider whether you need to be here in particular. The costs of living are high, making business costs high. I’d recommend definitely scouting around as there are a number of great big cities in the US that you don’t really know about when you’re in Australia.

 

Tyler Trumbull

 

One thought on “Aussies Of The Bay – Dean Flynn

  1. Loved reading this Tyler. I certainly relate to the “putting down self” discomfort. I married an American, and he gets quite distressed when I do it. I’m never fully relaxed here as cautious of perceptions and how my words are translated. It’s not the culture of a “good dig”.

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