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internal beta-testing


dogfooding = die Nutzung eines Produkts oder einer Dienstleistung eines Unternehmens durch dessen Mitarbeiter, um es zu testen, bevor es den Kunden zur Verfügung gestellt wird.



“On Saturday morning, Google confirmed that it was testing a new concept in mobile phones, writing in a blog post that it was ‘DOGFOODING’ the devices, an expression that comes from the idea that companies should “eat their own dog food”, or use their own products.”

Miguel Helft - “Google Appears Closer to Releasing Its Own Phone” - The New York Times

Did you


- a company’s use of its own product, as a way of testing and helping to sell it

- the process of testing a new product on employees before making it available to the public

Cambridge Dictionary / Collins Dictionary


In 1988, Microsoft manager Paul Maritz sent Brian Valentine, test manager for Microsoft LAN Manager, an email titled “Eating our own Dogfood”, challenging him to increase internal usage of the company’s product. From there, the usage of the term spread through the company.

Another possible origin from the 1970s concerns the president of Kal Kan Pet Food, who was said to eat a can of his dog food at shareholders’ meetings.


- If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas = if one spends time with bad people, one will eventually become like them or suffer a similarly bad fate.

- Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun = used as a warning regarding the extreme midday heat in hot climates.

- Every dog must have its day = everyone gets a chance eventually; even the least fortunate person will have success at some point in time.

- Don’t let the doorknob hit you where the dog should have bit you = leave here quickly and directly; don’t linger on your way out the door (primarily heard in the U.S.)

- A dog’s kennel is not the place to keep a sausage = (self-explanatory Danish proverb)


Tony Scott, (ex-CIO of Microsoft) argued that the phrase “dogfooding” was unappealing and should be replaced by “icecreaming”, with the aim of developing products as “ice cream that our customers want to consume”.

Developers of IBM’s mainframe operating systems have long used the term “eating our own cooking”. We quite like the favourite of Jo Hoppe, CIO of Pegasystems, “drinking our own champagne”.

SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“If you’re interested in the ultimate in DOGFOODING, check out the book ‘Who Goes First?: The Story of Self-Experimentation in Medicine’ by Lawrence K. Altman. It’s a fascinating read.”

HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:


Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

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