At Microsoft, there’s a very long history of ‘eating your own dogfood’ or using the latest and greatest daily builds. Although today, people seem to use the term “self-host,” which seems evidence that they don’t do either.
Eating your own dogfood gives you a decent idea of when it starts to taste ok, which is to say, ready for customers to see in some preview form.
Apropos of which, there’s a really interesting post at the Inkling blog, “Pay for your own dog food:”
Using your own product comes with a ton of benefits, because you become your own customer. The quality of your product likely increases because you can’t ignore it’s problems. They aren’t just your customers problems. They are your problems.
We’ve gotten in the habit of actually taking out our own credit card and using it on our own account sign up page. Yes, it’s a bit silly when the credit card processing takes some money off the top. But it makes the feeling very real that you are paying for this, and now it’s an expense just like it’s going to be an expense for your clients.