Friday, October 09, 2009

Eat your own dogfood

In the tech industry, when we say people eat their own dog food, it means they use their own products. It's funny that we have a special name for it because it seems pretty obvious: software developers should use their own software, cooks should eat the food they make, and auto companies should drive their own cars. It just makes sense.

I recently rented a Chevy Malibu, and discovered it has a stunningly bad design flaw. Take a look at the picture here and see if you can spot it.

The armrests for the front seats are split in two pieces: one part on the door and one part on the B-pillar (the post behind the front doors). The part on the B-pillar has a corner that jabbed me every time I got into the car.

The interesting thing about this photo from the Chevrolet web site is that the flaw is plainly visible. My guess is that the photographer pushed the seat all the way back to make the car look as roomy as possible. And apparently none of Chevy's test drivers did that. Or if they did, they didn't mind getting jabbed. And that's too bad, because other than this fundamental flaw, the Malibu seemed like a nice car.

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