Who invented the term dogfooding – was it me?

Cartoon dog food can "Kevans Matrix Management Mix"In the mid-90’s, I ran a series of virtual team training programs for the Microsoft IT function in Europe. As someone who used to work for an FMCG company who made pet food,  I used to tell the story about how, at the end of out factory tour, we would taste our own product to ensure quality. (Its quite safe and reasonably tasty).

I usually added the gag that you could tell the testers because they had beautiful shiny hair, but slightly damp noses!

A couple of years later when I came back to Microsoft, people were using the term ‘dogfooding’ to mean consuming your own product first before sharing it with customers. I asked them where it came from, but no one could remember and I always wondered if it was me.

I saw the term used again recently in an article and it reminded me of the story.

So –  to satisfy my curiosity – does anyone else know how the term came into the technology industry, and can they claim to have spotted it before about 1995.

If it was  me, I heartily apologize for introducing the phrase. It was meant innocently!


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