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"Dog fooding makes you lazy, and makes you less likely to understand your customer."

I don't understand how dog fooding makes you lazy. Using your own products doesn't stop you from talking to your customers. If the company leadership cares about what the customers think, then someone will find the time to talk with them.

And using your own products has many advantages, such as forcing you to confront bugs and annoying user interfaces and performance problems and poor documentation. It's definitely something that you should do, assuming your products can serve some useful function in your company.

"you never have to find the documentation, or learn how to use your API."

Documentation is an issue you'll face even with your own products. Unless your company is very tiny, there will be employees, even developers, who aren't intimately familiar with how to use all the advanced features of your products to solve real-world problems.




fully agree. dogfooding makes especially a lot of sense if your company has more than one product. my team, which is working on a commercial app, just started using the rDMS built by our second team - and it's great as we act as beta tester before our customers get it into their hands.

this is not about classic QA, this is about "design bugs", that one extra annoying step in a workflow or missing safety dialog that doesn't warn you of a irreversible change.

of course this works particularly well as that product fits into our workflow. dogfooding becomes a bit unrealistic once it is about a product only your customers will really use.


> documentation

There was a submission a while ago [1] about why you'd just read the code is documentation is not good enough or simply inexistant. When working with your company's product you often have direct access to the source code or the developers, and you can solve in minutes problems that would cause days and days of pone/email back and forth with the support team.

You'll understand there is a problem, but you may not have the same sense of urgency since it was so fast to solve.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5601511




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