Do I Eat My Own Dog Food?

It’s not particularly elegant, but the notion of eating your own dog food is a recognized metaphor in the tech world. Here’s how Wikipedia describes it:

Eating your own dog food, also called dogfooding, is a slang term used to reference a scenario in which a company uses its own product to validate the quality and capabilities of the product.

I had been prepared to say that I eat my own dog food, but the metaphor doesn’t quite work. Allow me to explain.

You remember my confidentiality-agreement template? It was parked at Business Integrity’s website, where it served as a showcase of what you can do with ContractExpress. But it’s not there anymore. That’s because the template is more valuable to me when I keep it private as opposed to making it available to all for free. (For more about that, see this post.)

I now use the template whenever I need to create a confidentiality agreement for a client. When I complete the questionnaire, I know that the resulting document will exactly reflect my choices—the result of months of tweaking. Instead of having to constantly reinvent the wheel, I can direct my finite attention span elsewhere.

I intend to develop a suite of such ContractExpress templates for standard commercial contracts, with the aim of allowing companies to quickly and cost-effectively create templates of their own that are superior to what one sees out there.

But I’m not eating my own dog food. That involves theater, because you’re not the intended target—after all, it’s dog food you’re eating. By contrast, I’m using my template for its intended purpose. I’m eating … food.

So the ease and efficiency I experience is equivalent to the ease and efficiency you would experience in using my template to help you create the confidentiality agreement of your dreams, whether it’s a Word document or your own ContractExpress automated template.


Contract-Automation Clearinghouse is where I put my posts on contract automation and related topics. My regular blog is at Adams on Contract Drafting.