Sermon Illustrations


The magazine, Christianity Today, reported in its April 4, 1986 issue of a tool company that manufactured drill bits. Faced with financial losses, company executives gathered to discuss the problem: a declining demand for drill bits. The CEO challenged his men: "How can we revive the bit market?"

After an embarrassing silence, one member of the team dispelled the fog: "Sir, the market isn’t for bits...its for holes!"

The story illustrates a basic, but often overlooked truth: "The customer never buys a product. By definition, the customer buys the satisfaction of a want" (in the words of Peter Drucker). To put it another way, there are no markets for products--only markets for what products can do.

In contemporary industry, the Xerox Corp. shows this principle in action. Xerox successfully pioneered the copy-machine industry by leasing copiers at a "per copy" price rather than selling machines outright. They correctly saw the market was for copies, not machines.

(Adopted from Christianity Today, April 4, 1986, available on-line at

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