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Dogfooding or eating your dog food are phrases the tech industry terms to companies that use their products.
Now, this article will let you dive into the concept of dogfooding and why companies do it.
What Is Dogfooding?
Dogfooding or eating your dog food is a slang word that describes a company using its product, most commonly used in the world of software and technology.
More specifically, a company uses its products to find and resolve bugs.
Dogfooding provides a much-needed opportunity to have meaningful, real-world product feedback before launch.
In the late 1970s, TV commercials for the Alpo dog brand featured Spokesperson Lorne Greene claiming that he uses Alpo for his dogs.
Whether this statement is true or not, the phrase “eating your own dog food” became a metaphor for using the products you are promoting.
In 1981, the apple computer issued an internal memo that bans typewriters in their company.
The President of Apple, Michael Scott, wrote to all employees, “Apple is an innovative company. We must believe and lead in all areas. If word processing is so neat, then let's all use it!”
Microsoft is also aggressive in using their products, most notably in the research and development department during the 1980s.
Since then, the term “dogfooding” has always been to every company that practices the usage of their products.
Benefits of Dogfooding
Aside from identifying and fixing bugs. Here are other benefits of eating your dog food:
- Emphasis on the customer's privacy
- Reducing the costs needed to hire outsourced testers
- It saves a lot of money by early detection of the errors in the product
- Develops a sense of ownership by all team members who tested the product
- Companies have trust and confidence in the quality and function of their products
Lists of Companies That Eats Their Dogfood
Here is the list of companies that eats their dogfood:
Facebook's react feature is one of the examples of dogfooding. Employees found that it helped express their feelings by responding to photos and videos.
The licensure feature of Youtube was already dogfooding before it got released to the public.
In 2011, Youtube employees tested the works of commercial licensing in all Youtube videos before coming into public.
The Google team tests their products to know the details better. The information obtained can make a better product than the previous one.
Microsoft has been eating their dog food as they have found it more beneficial to improving their programs and products.
Their excel improved through the mailing lists at Microsoft.
Why Companies Apply the Use of Dogfooding?
Eating your dog food gives both your product and your organization these advantages:
- Improves product quality
- Allows to test the quality with real people
- Saves time by knowing the issues that cause a delay
- Demonstrates product usefulness and usability to the market
Who Does The Dogfooding in The Company?
Generally, these are the people that will participate in the dogfooding program in the company:
- Quality assurance teams
- Bug discovery teams
- Customer support teams
- Product management teams
Instead of choosing random beta testers, customer-like employees will help give the company the correct feedback they need.
Final Thoughts: Should I Also Try Dogfooding?
Dogfooding uses your product the same way your customers used it. You get to experience what the customers are experiencing with your product by doing this.
Nic Haralambous, the founder of NicHarry.com, realized that a business would fail if the team was not eating their dog food. And they are not dogfooding because they are making a product that they thought that's what the customers want.
Eating your dog food is something that a company would want to use to help improve its products.