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Eating Your Own Dog Food?

Interesting turn of phrase I have seen used to mean a few different ideas in the software development world and a few other places.

The Interpretation I got for this phrase from the person who sent me was:

Eating your own dog food

Coined by a Microsoft manager, to use the products you develop in your office as your customers would (with the same software quality), to make sure you understand your product and understand your customers needs as well.

It seems to be an extension of the concept of “Practicing what your preach” or “Walk to the walk, don’t just talk the talk…”, but finding a company that uses their product can be a good thing, I have seen in my travels in the world of high-tech.

Financially Eating Your Dog Food

Investing and Financial Institutions are a little harder to figure out if they “Eat their own dog food” I think it would be amusing to find out that the CEO of my bank didn’t use the bank for his finances (if not very problematic).

Much Younger Me
Shylo ate his Dog Food Happily

I would be very interested to see if the following might be happening:

  • The President of the insurance company that espouses “Freedom 55” actually uses that program him or herself? I doubt that one, but I’ll gladly retract that statement if it is not valid.
  • Does the CEO of BMO  use their “Mortgage Insurance” facility, or do they simply buy term insurance as others do? My guess is No; they don’t use that either (they may not have a Mortgage, mind you, either).
  • All those insurance sales folk who want to sell me “Whole Life” insurance, do they buy the product? I guess some do, but maybe at a cheaper rate than we do.
  • Does the President of TD use their Stepper GIC product? I think no is the answer on that one too.
  • Do the CEO’s of the Mutual Fund companies that have MER‘s of 4 and 5% buy their mutual funds? My guess would not be likely.
  • Did Mr. Madoff buy into his Ponzi scheme? Please don’t answer that. It’s rhetorical. By the by, he got 150 years. Given he is 72, he’ll be spending the rest of his life in prison (is that enough).

Am I Missing Any?

I have missed other examples of “Eating their dog food” in the financial world. Please chime in the Comments section.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. I happen to know of a “former” senior VP at London Life, the insurance company that espouses “Freedom 55,” who actually did recently retire at 55.

  2. Similar in concept to what Buffet calls businesses that are managed by folks who have “skin in the game.”

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