Eating Your Own Cooking

It is not an unusual to find an early stage technology company that helps its client achieve breakthroughs in the way they manage, market and organize work using  with the company’s technology, only to find that the technology company itself using neither its own offering or  other tools that might help  it work more efficiently.  In fact, it is downright common.

Excel is Everywhere

Various clients of mine over the years have used Excel to manage their finances, sent out 1,000s of paper invoices, generated proposals and quotes manually, have done little or no content-based marketing and used spreadsheets to manage expenses.

Practicing What You Preach

Why is this?  “Practicing what you preach” or  “Eating your own cooking” (or dog food it you are a less polite.) seems like an obvious way to promote your offering.

Some of this is because of inertia: change is difficult to manage, particularly when you ar a small, emerging technology company operating on a shoe string.   You’ve got releases to manage, deals to close, investors to court and fires to put out and rarely have time to think about how to improve systems and processes.

Some of this is the fact that, as an emerging technology company, you are selling a future, a vision that does not exist yet.  It doesn’t even exist within your organization, and you know better than anyone not to wholly trust your business to it.

Finally, some of this is human nature:  we are better at preaching than practicing.  My teenage children often point this out as one of my failings.

And so I encourage you to practice more and preach less.

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