Eating our own dogfood

Why do we eat our own dogfood?

'Eating your own dog food' is now a common phrase in software development that refers to the internal use of a company's own products or services in its day-to-day operations. Like many other phrases, it's origins are a bit unclear. One story is that it originated from the president of Kal Kan Pet Food who was said to eat a can of his own dogfood in shareholder meetings. Another refers to an email titled "Eating your own Dogfood" sent from a Microsoft Manager in 1988 challenging employees to increase internal usage of the company's products.

Whatever the source, the principle is accepted as a good one for product teams to adopt. That's certainly how Team Compare looks at it as we try to validate the value of RM Compare. It helps us to understand first-hand what is good (and not so good!) about the user experience.

Apart from validating the user experience, is RM Compare actually a useful tool for you?

We spend a lot of time in ideation as part of the creative process. This is where we use our understandings to generate, develop and communicate new ideas. At some point the challenge becomes one of prioritisation - in other words judging the relative merit of each idea to determine which ones to focus on and validate. For those of you have been paying attention (!), we know that the enemy of any judgement process is noise and bias. Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman, in his recent book 'Noise - the Flaw in Human Judgement' does a brilliant job explaining the issue, consequences and remedies.

The risk of making bad decisions, clouded by noise and bias, is something we must be constantly aware of. Not doing so puts the product at risk. This is why, when we have ideas to prioritise, we run them through an RM Compare session.

Of course, we are not the only team at RM who must prioritise - everyone does. That's why RM Compare is used across the business, which is great for user testing!