This is a guest post by Charles Lee, Luvocracy engineer and fish lover. Enjoy!
Disclosure: It’s been a long time since I’ve written something without curly braces and if/else statements!
“Dogfooding” is a popular term in software company circles to describe when a company uses its own products, as in “Eat your own dog food.”
We’re big fans of startup jargon here at Luvocracy – we feel it helps reduce pushback as we establish synergy through our organization bottom-up (learn more terms here), but hold onto your mission statements and disruptive social growth hacking plans: the new word on the block is “Jellyfishing.”
Everyone who works at Luvocracy — whether in finance or QA — is a “product” person. We believe our product is for everybody, and we all came together because we saw the power and potential of this product in our lives. So we do our best to use it! We (okay, maybe only I) call it “jellyfishing.” Here’s why:
Valentine Jellyfish joined the Luvocracy team on February 14th, 2012. His interests included swimming, plankton, and skinny dipping. Work is so much better when your coworkers are transparent!
The good folks at Jellyfish Art - a company that sells all-in-one jellyfish starter packages – delivered Valentine Jellyfish to our office. Jellyfish Art was originally a Kickstarter project that has since made waves in the New York Times, NPR, and Wired. It’s a cool product that has spread faster than the crimson bloom thanks to some spectacular word of mouth advertising!
And the best place for capturing your word of mouth recommendations online? You know it, you love it, you live it, you swim in it, you Luvocracy.
Julia originally luved the tank on our site way back when the site was for internal use only – in the early “dogfooding” stage. Her eclectic recommendations ranged from stylish sweaters to funky corkscrews, but nothing caught my eye more than “Real Live Jellyfish Tank.”
The tank was immediately re-recommended five or six times by nearly everyone on the team, making it the most popular product since the flying clownfish (the first product ever purchased on Luvocracy). Word spread faster than a barnacle on a humpback whale, and soon Andy and I were both commenting on the same product. After agreeing to split the cost of the tank, we ordered our very own Jellyfish kit!
Valentine Jellyfish was an integral, if short lived, member of the company. Officially, Valentine left over creative differences. The true story? Jellyfish, while serenely beautiful and mesmerizing, require more of a blue thumb than anyone in the office had. Jellyfish Art has also moved onto a new design that make it a little easier to keep the jellies from getting snagged on the rocks by the air pump and giving new legs (tentacles) to the old pun of “resting in pieces.” Also, as any half-decent aquarium hobbyist would know (i.e. not me) maintaining proper ammonia/nitrate levels can be difficult! Ammonia Remover and Cycle will help, but this little software engineer was unable to convince Valentine to stay.
We were sad to see Valentine Jellyfish leave, but fortunately Luvocracy is dedicated to making sure our members have the best possible retail experience online! We are serious about your satisfaction. You can read more about our return policy, or always email email@example.com with any questions you may have. And if you ever have second thoughts about a recommendation, you can always move it to your Backroom, which was explained on a Feedback Friday.
Luckily, this story has a happy ending: Enter Gnar Gnar.
Gnar Gnar is named after the five pound hamburger eaten during a company ski trip to Squaw Valley (which seriously was eaten solely by chug2k, melissa, and recordpressing). Gnar Gnar’s named for his can-do attitude and his voracious appetite, and has been happily swimming in Valentine’s old home since April 2nd, 2012.
This means while February 14th (Valentine Jellyfish’s birthday) has come and gone, we just celebrated Gnar Gnar’s first birthday! We’re serious about birthdays in this office and every person and fish gets cake on their special day (thanks Fiona!). Even the flying clownfish made an appearance to celebrate the birthday.
So Happy Birthday Gnar Gnar, and I hope many great recommendations are in your future! (But don’t worry Valentine, I’ll never forget you).