Suppose I work at Microsoft. I would probably write the bulk of my code using Visual Studio, which is one of Microsoft's most popular projects. Therefore, dogfooding.

Now suppose I work at Netflix, which provides a video streaming service for entertainment value. I'm not going to watch House of Cards on the job (wink). I might when I get home, though. Can an employee's use of a company's product off the clock (e.g. entertainment software, tools for personal projects, etc.) be considered dogfooding?

  • 1
    Are you concerned some companies may be claiming they "dogfood" their products, but because they just have employees using at home without providing any useful information they're really not? – JeffO Mar 29 '16 at 22:06
  • No, this was just a curiosity that came to mind. – JesseTG Mar 29 '16 at 22:07
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    At my company, we drink our own champagne. No one wants to eat dog food. Only startups have office dogs. – user156792 Mar 29 '16 at 22:13
  • The point about eating dog food is that, if you have to eat it, you are highly motivated to make it the tastiest dog food ever! – Mawg says reinstate Monica Mar 30 '16 at 14:56
  • Why the downvotes? – JesseTG Apr 1 '16 at 17:07


The term "dogfooding" is specifically reserved for a company using its own products, for testing and promotional ("we use our own stuff") purposes, not for casual use of those same products outside of work, even by employees.

The only scenario of that kind that I would consider dogfooding would be Netflix giving their employees free subscriptions in return for bug reports and telemetry. The company has to have some skin in the game, in other words.

In a testing scenario, you would want to be exercising the UI more than would happen when you're just passively watching House of Cards. Unless, of course, all you're testing is the stability of the video player.

  • Even that scenario doesn't seem like dogfooding to me. Maybe if they offered movie days for company morale or used the platform for training videos or something ... – svidgen Mar 29 '16 at 22:07
  • Working in an industry not far off from Netflix, ideally employees use both our own products and our competitor's products. The danger of too much "dogfooding" in this sense is failing to understand where your product sits in the competitive landscape. – Gort the Robot Mar 29 '16 at 23:42
  • @steven: enter catfooding whateverthing.com/blog/2014/02/11/dont-forget-catfood – Hugo Mar 30 '16 at 5:35

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