Why are there always oranges left in the fruit bowl?
Like most normal people, I like oranges more than bananas. But when I’m faced with the office fruit bowl I’ll inevitably go for the banana.
It’s a phenomenon you’ll see in homes and offices around the world, and there’s a simple explanation: friction. Oranges are just too much hard work.
In fact, if you look at any list of best-selling fruits, it’s always the ones with the least friction on top.
This list from the US, for instance, puts bananas first, followed by apples, grapes and strawberries. There aren’t many easier-to-eat fruits than those.
After that, the list start getting frictiony.
You’ve got oranges (hard to peel), watermelons (too big), lemons (limited use), peaches (mostly stone and mess) and so on. Ugli fruit doesn’t even make the cut because of insurmountable branding issues.
The moral is that it’s not always the best product that wins the day. It’s the one with the least friction.