“Eating your own dogfood”

It’s an odd title, but that’s a common expression in the venture capital industry, referring to the fact that most successful companies service themselves as customers: they eat their own dogfood, quite literally. Think of it this way: would you want to eat at a restaurant where the staff sneaks down the road for dinner every night?
So I was thinking about this after talking with a midwife this afternoon who commented “I really knew I wanted to be a midwife after the birth of my first child. I don’t think midwives need to have had a child, but I think the best ones are all mothers…”
Isn’t this philosophy of, perhaps, learning by doing, the cornerstone of attachment parenting too? That you should treat your children as you’d like to be treated? What’s your reaction?

2 comments on ““Eating your own dogfood”

  1. I know what you mean, but I think there are mistakes in your comparisons. First, I worked at Burger King, and staff help themselves with food much better than it’s usually served to customers, even if it’s restaurant food (e.g. they get meat directly from the broiler). Or they get sick of eating the same food again and again and go to McDonalds :).
    Also, I don’t think birthing your own baby gives you skills to birth other women babies, I think it’s up to each woman to succesfully birth their own.
    But yes, I think you’re right, empathy, or putting ourselves in our children shoes is necessary. But it’s so hard because we’re adults and so far away from our own childhood problems! There are many important skills needed in order to be a successful parent and raise happy, healthy moral children. We should discuss them all.

  2. Leo,
    Although the SKILLS are developed at university, I firmly believe that experiencing something as transforming as pregnancy and childbirth could create the insight and interest or passion to become a midwife. I do not wonder why I have NEVER met a male midwife.
    Yes, I did the pushing, and learned from the first time to make the second time better, but I appreciated EVERY SINGLE BIT of help that I got from the women that helped me deliver my children. I remember that I had to be taught how to manage pain, had to be taught how to push so that I would not rip (no stitches 2nd time)and had to be taught how to nurse my first newborn.
    My natural capacity to have children does NOT guarantee any natural grace or finesse at pregnancy, delivery, nursing, or parenting. Delivery? I’m glad I’m done – quite frankly, it scares me. Nursing and Parenting? Now, these are things that I have become passionate about. The birth of my children and my concern for their well-being created this passion.
    Yes, it is up to each of us to effectively parent our own children, and fortunately for mine, I am still actively learning and improving. And, maybe I will go back to school and get a Master’s in Psychology because I have become very passionate about this transformation in my and my family’s life.

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