April 17, 2013

Is this what they mean when they say ‘Eat your own dog food’?

Anyone who’s ever worked in software companies will have heard the slang term ‘Eat your own dog food’.

Eating your own dog food (sometimes called dogfooding) is a scenario in which a company uses its own product to show off the qualities and proficiencies of the product.

The history of the term ‘Eating your own dog food’ is said to start in the 70s when TV ads for Alpo dog food showed entertainer Lorne Green saying he fed his own dogs Alpo dog food. Then in 1988, an email from Paul Maritz, a manager at Microsoft, challenged Microsoft test manager Brian Valentine to increase internal usage of the company’s products, using the title ‘Eating our own Dogfood’; and a meme was born!

The idea is that eating one’s own dog food is the best way for a company to show its confidence in its own products because if the company expects customers to part with their money to buy its products, it itself should be willing to use those products first off the bat. In a sense, dogfooding is the first testimonial advertising a company should have.

Of course, here at ReQtest we use ReQtest ourselves religiously. Why? Well, because we believe in our product ourselves, and also, because even after rigorous rounds of testing, sometimes what’s needed is a little internal, informal testing by us in proper usage to identify little problems here and there.

Sadly, however, some companies haven’t quite got the hang of eating their own dog food quite yet, as the cartoon below demonstrates!



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