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Grapevine Team Spotlight: Grant Deken

Grant Deken is our Head of Development here at Grapevine. He is the father of the platform that our advocates use to find killer sponsorship opportunities every day. You can find Grant with his face buried in his computer all day constantly looking for new ways to tweak and improve the platform to make Grapevine an even easier experience for or advocates. Grant works hard, but we managed to chat with him for a few minutes a couple weeks ago. Let’s get to know this handsome enigma a bit more.

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T: Okay so, Grant Deken. Who are you? What do you do?

G: Well, I’m a Florida native. I’ve been in Boston for two and a half years. I love building products. I love using software to solve business problems.
My job is to build the best possible platform for our advocates, advertisers and for our team and I help facilitate that everyday.

T: What’s a movie that makes you cry?

G: I don’t really cry.

T: Not at all?

G:No. Well, actually yeah. ESPN has this series called 30 for 30 and they did this one called “Survive and Advance” about Jim Valvano who was a coach for the NC State Wolf Pack who’s was living with bone cancer as he’s coaching this team… really moving. Sports movies always get me.

T: If you could be any cereal what would you be?

G: Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It’s a double win. First you get the cereal… then immediately after you get the cinnamon sugar milk. I’m all about optimizing your gains. Cinnamon Toast Crunch is an optimized experience.

T: Whats your super power?

G: Time travel. I want to bring Galileo to the future and take him on a transcontinental flight and be like “SEE? YOU WERE RIGHT!”

T: What’s a weird food you eat in combination?

G:  I’m really into Mexican food. I eat a lot of burritos and recently my brother turned me on to unwrapping your burrito then filling it with Doritos. It’s incredible. It adds an extra layer of texture to the burrito experience.

T: What flavor of doritos?

G: Original Nacho Cheese. All the way. Cool Ranch can kick rocks.

T: What do you want to do when you grow up?

G: If I wasn’t here?

T: Yes.

G: People always laugh at me but If it wasn’t anything software related, I’d really like to get involved in solving the Pacific garbage patch problem.

T: That big island of floating garbage in the middle of the Pacific Ocean?

G: Yeah, there’s this 20 year old dutch kid who spoke at TED and he actually has a seemingly viable solution for cleaning it up. They’ve been doing this 2 year long feasibility study. I donated some money to it, but that’s kind of a cop out. Throwing money at the problem isn’t really proactive.

I think definitely if I had the time and bandwidth and capital resources, I would definitely get involved with that.

T: Wow, That’s amazing. I think that’s a really admirable thing to be passionate about..

G: Yeah it’s just a whole bunch of plastic. Fish eat it. We eat fish. Nobody likes to eat plastic. It’s a serious issue that could have long lasting effects on the environment and something needs to be done about it.

T: Well thanks a lot for chatting with me Grant, I feel like we know you a bit better.

G: Thanks, this was fun!

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