Dogfooding

From “Dogfooding Until It Hurts”:

Dogfooding. Also called “eating your own dog food.” It’s pretty simple, right? If you work at Uber, maybe take an Uber car ride from time to time. If you work at Khan Academy, you’re probably pretty good at math by now.

In this video from 2009, Joel talks about dogfooding as being more than just using your own product. It’s about using your own product for everything you can imagine, even if that usage is a little uncomfortable.

I used Vesper for note-taking on the iPhone, and nvALT on the desktop. Despite the non-synchronicity between the two, I found them to be the best option for each situation.  Vesper is a masterclass in app design, and the amount of thought that goes into it really shows from all the design choices and what it says no to. nvALT, on the other hand, is lightning fast, can by synced with Dropbox, and gets out of the way of actual note taking.

My company has its own note-taking app: Simplenote. It has one big advantage over my current setup, namely synchronicity and availability on both iOS and OS X (as well as on the Web, Android and Kindle). My note-taking habit is contextual enough that I usually don’t need my mobile notes to be available on desktop notes and vice versa, but I have a suspicion that I shape that habit due to the lack of sync between Vesper and nvALT.

While I haven’t played with it enough, my initial impression is that Simplenote is really, really good. It’s not as fast as nvALT from my testing, but it’s fast enough. I like the design direction, and it contains many clever bit of thoughts. My only nitpick so far is that the desktop font is too tiny and there’s no setting to change it. But, being from the same company, I might be able to have a say about that instead of just wishing.

This honestly is not an easy change to make, but from today on I’ll be dogfooding Simplenote until it hurts. And see if I can do something about it.