It is a truth universally acknowledged that a software product in possession of a good value proposition must be used by its creator. Fair enough, but why do tech companies insist on making such a big deal about it?
In this post I will focus on the general question of what dogfooding in tech accomplishes today. Why do marketers love dogfooding; what does dogfooding signal to users; when is dogfooding persuasive; do developers care about dogfooding; and, possibly most importantly, how is dogfooding even defined? Answering these questions will certainly interest practitioners and engineering leadership forced to endure declarations of value based on dogfooding.
When I worked at NewRelic we used to call it "Drinking our own Champagne" because we don't make dogfood, we make champagne. 😛
Whether a creator-as-user prefers to characterize their process as “eating our own dogfood” or “drinking our own champagne” depends on brand preference: preferences that are useful to unpack. Although they are considered synonyms meaning “the practice of using one’s own products or services,” each resonates very differently, and can even draw censure when misapplied.