Who Moved My Banana?

Five months ago, Clari moved to a new location. Bigger, better, and…freshly renovated (bet you thought I was going to use a B word — joke’s on you). In times of scaling and growth, this move was key to Clari’s future. But alas, that’s not what I’m here to discuss. Today, let’s focus on bananas.


The average American.

According to Chiquita® Bananas, the average American consumes 27 lbs of bananas annually. A sampled banana (courtesy of Clari), weighs:

  • 183 g. unpeeled,
  • 116 g. peeled.
  • 185/116=1.58.

So, 2.25 lbs (1021 g.) of unpeeled banana or 1.43 pounds (647 g.) of peeled banana. Calculated, I can safely say that the average American consumes 12 unpeeled bananas or 18 peeled bananas yearly. For the sake of today’s discussion, let’s go with the 18 bananas.

If we expect the average American to consume 18 peeled bananas in a year, then I have some words to say about the people at Clari (see ‘Concluding Remarks’ if you don’t want to read the quick study).

Data Collection

At our old Mountain View office, two banana bunches were delivered every Monday. A total of ~16 bananas at best. Like clockwork, by the time I went to the break room Thursday, the bananas were like Houdini — gone. At that point, we probably had ~40 employees. Let’s say that it was 16 unique employees consuming a single banana by Thursday, then 16/40 = 40% of the employee base would receive a banana every week. By definition, by the 18th week of the year, those 16 individuals would have met his/her annual quota. Wild.

Let’s assume that it’s the same 16 individuals who eat a banana each week. Because real talk, if you like bananas, you’re going to eat it. With a typical 52-week calendar year, this means these individuals would consume 3x the average American.

At our current office, the order’s been increased to a full crate ~100 bananas (courtesy of our Admin, following requests and maybe some complaints). Keep in mind, we now have fifty ‘at-office’ employees, give or take weekly. You might be wondering, we’ve multiplied the supply 6-fold for a 10 person increase? I get it, based on pure math alone, if we were able to happily feed 40% of the employee base weekly then we should’ve only increased the supply to 20 bananas no biggie.

Ah, but you see. The bananas are still gone by Thursday.

I was excited when I saw the increase in supply. Even thought, “Oh hey, I can probably still snatch a banana with my oatmeal later in the week now”. Nope. With a 200% coverage per week, who’s moving ‘my’ banana to their stomach? *shakes fists*

So I started tracking its course a couple weeks ago and averaged out:

  • Monday, 10am — 98
  • Tuesday, 10am — 63
  • Wednesday, 10am — 43
  • Thursday, 10am — 25
  • Friday, 10am — 2

That’s an average rate of 24 bananas/day. Is that normal? Who knows. But it’s certainly an increased rate of consumption.

I can’t explain it to you. But my lightweight hypothesis is that by nature, people live with a subconscious notion of

if banana = ‘exists’:
walk away

It’s not like Clari doesn’t provide other options. To name a few, we have apples, oranges, pears, those-things-you-call-cuties-but-aint-so-cute, avocados. But why don’t those fruits get consumed at the same rate as bananas do? Aren’t they just as good?

See I think the difference might be that bananas are the safest option for consumption. A person can actually judge how satisfied they would be with the ripeness/flavor/texture/you-name-it of the banana based on its peel (But don’t judge a book my its cover, mama said). But many times, we might find ourselves disappointed with the texture of an apple or tartness of an orange. On top of that, apple skins are a pain to deal with and oranges are just a mess so we focus on the banana in order to save time and disappointment. Taking these factors into account, I guess startup folk don’t have time for nonsense fruit. It’s risky.

Why is this important?

At Clari, we develop software that’s meant to help sales folk accelerate cycle time, improve win rates, and forecast efficiently/accurately. Analogously, if we apply our product to bananas — we reduce the risk of picking the wrong fruit for consumption. Using machine learned algorithms, we’re able to predict which fruit apart from the obvious “bananas” a team should consume their time and energy in, forecast future supply and assets, and give time back so they can move on to even more things.

Concluding Remarks

I’ll go ahead and say that the employees of Clari are definitely not your average folk. I mean, just based on bananas alone, I think it’s proven we’re above average. Not saying it’s scientific or anything, but think about it. And so if you also consume bananas at an absurd rate, or just have a curiosity for predicting the best fruit to consume, come check us out — but I can’t promise we’ll have one available for consumption the day you visit.

PS. Moderation is key, Clari.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Michelle Phan’s story.