DEFINITION of 'Eat Your Own Dog Food'

A colloquialism that describes a company using its own products or services for its internal operations. The term is believed to have originated with Microsoft in the 1980s. While it was originally used in reference to software companies using their own internally-generated tools for software development, its usage has spread to other areas as well. Often shortened simply to "dog food."

BREAKING DOWN 'Eat Your Own Dog Food'

The basic premise behind "eating your own dog food" is that if a firm expects paying customers to use its products or services, it should expect no less from its own employees. Not using its own products for internal operations may imply that a company does not believe its products are best-of-breed despite its public proclamation of the fact, and that it has more confidence in a rival's offerings. This could not only have a negative impact on employee morale, but can also potentially turn into a public-relations debacle.

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