The Fortress in Devicia: A Fairytale with a Lesson for Today

It’s a magical time of year, and we could all use a little more magic in our lives. If you’ve read the previous two “Ask Allison” posts, you know we have embarked on a four-part series to answer the question, “Do all medical demonstration models need to represent anatomy?” If you didn’t get the chance to check those out yet, you can get up to speed here and here.

As promised, we will continue that adventure today with part three. But today’s story is different. Our story today will allow your creative minds to flourish. It will take you to a world and time far away, yet right where you are here and now. We may all take something different out of the journey we’re about to go on together. Some will simply read an amusing story about magical folks, while others may find a deeper meaning. Let me take you there now…

The Village

We begin our story in a distant village called Devicia. The village is, and has always been, an upbeat place with some of the very brightest witches and wizards. In fact, legend has it that Merlin himself spent nearly a decade living here to propel himself to the eventual greatness he would achieve.

Witches and wizards from all over the world travel here each year to discover the best and brightest advancements in wands, potions, and magical gadgets. At nearly every turn in Devicia, you can find a shop that sells these items. Although the shop owners don’t like to admit it, they’re all competitive with one another. This quiet competition is what keeps the village at the cutting edge. Every shop owner bravely attempts to do what has never been done before to stay one step ahead of their neighbor.

As if the long hours of trying to keep their shops ahead isn’t enough, there’s also one other important milestone that must be overcome: receiving the Blessing of the Fortress.

The Fortress of Demons and Angels (better known simply as “The Fortress” by the locals) is the ruling power of Devicia. The members of the governing body that make up the Fortress are known as the Regulators (or “Regs” for short). 

The Fortress serves an incredibly vital role in the success of Devicia. You’d be hard-pressed to find a single Devician who thinks otherwise. The Regs work tirelessly to test each and every wand, potion, and magical gadget created here that meets a High-Risk classification to ensure they’re safe and effective for all Devicians and our guests from outside lands. 

But the Fortress’s greatest strength for our village is also their greatest weakness. The Regs have extraordinarily strict rules and bylaws to gain the Blessing of the Fortress. Most of the time, this is to the advantage of the Devicians. However, some of these rules and bylaws prevent potentially remarkable potions and gadgets from achieving Blessing in the timeliest manner. 

But the shop owners are smart and creative, as are the witches and wizards from Devicia, to whom they sell their magical products. Although the shop owners are bound by the laws of the Fortress, the witches and wizards are lawfully free to use the magical gadgets however they see fit, regardless of the approved use of the gadget received Blessing from the Fortress.

Shop owners started realizing that in special circumstances, a powerful magical product that could create wonderful effects for Devicians may not need to go through the long, arduous Blessing process before it could benefit the wizarding world. After all, talented witches and wizards are free to determine brilliant and creative uses for magical commodities that extend far beyond the approved indications of the Fortress. 

Shop owners began creating training tools for how to use their magical gadgets that show possible alternative uses for these gadgets without advertising them. Although no words are spoken, new experiences are realized by the witches and wizards, who can see the true underlying beauty and utility of the magic that lies beneath the surface. 

These cleverly crafted experiences are used only for specific goods that are considered an improvement that the Fortress would not require a new Blessing process.  They don’t break the rules of the Fortress because the underlying function of the magical products is simply implied by showing the Devician customers rather than telling them. Shop owners are not telling anyone in the village how to use their magical inventions but rather demonstrating that they exist and letting the witches and wizards decide how they are best used for their specific needs. 

Ophelia and The Unbreakable Balloon

As an example, a crafty shop owner named Ophelia invented a magical gadget she called The Unbreakable Balloon. Ophelia received approval from the Fortress for the inflation of the Balloon in empty rooms to clean every surface.  The product was a huge success with the witches and wizards. However, they wanted to inflate the balloon in rooms without removing the furniture.  Eager to satisfy the needs of her customers, Ophelia had some work to do. The current balloon was not compliant enough to conform to all the irregular shapes of the furniture. Have no fear! Ophelia was very clever and added a shape-shifting spell to the balloon, making it more compliant. 

The Fortress approved the Unbreakable Balloon to clean empty rooms, not rooms with furniture. In some circumstances, the Fortress does allow for improvements to the approved gadget without a new Blessing process, but changing the indication requires resubmission, which can be a lengthy process.

Ophelia was particularly excited about this gadget and wanted to quickly ensure its improved abilities were portrayed to their full extent without crossing any boundaries of the Fortress’s rules that would classify her improved balloon as a new product. 

Ophelia engaged the village builders to assist her in developing creative ways to demonstrate just how useful this new product could be. The builders jumped at the chance to be a part of something so special and began to cleverly craft portable demonstration rooms using Ophelia’s specifications.

These demonstration rooms were nearly as magical as The Unbreakable Balloon itself. The models included complex shapes within the room for the balloon to envelop. They were beautifully designed to make The Unbreakable Balloon an unforgettable product for anyone who got the chance to see how it conformed to complex and protruding surfaces. The rooms were not only visually and functionally appealing, but they could also be shrunk and taken anywhere with the flick of a wand. 

Customers were astounded! Many saw The Unbreakable Balloon exactly as it was demonstrated: the perfect house cleaning companion no matter the size, shape, or contents of your room. But others saw a deeper meaning than that. They understood that although The Unbreakable Balloon was being advertised as a house-cleaning tool, it could serve Devicia and all its surrounding lands in wonderful ways. If The Unbreakable Balloon could conform to any room, with or without furniture, and turn it from a disaster to as good as new, just imagine its possibilities outside the home! The magic of this gadget could help the lives of Devicians in endless ways. 

As word of this valuable gadget continued to spread around Devicia, The Unbreakable Balloon flew off the shelves. Ophelia had so much demand for the product that she was able to open three more shops and hire saleswizards to travel around the world with her demonstration rooms to introduce the product to new magical communities. The portable demonstration rooms were their greatest tool in allowing The Unbreakable Balloon to practically sell itself. 

As it turns out, the model was a priceless tool all over the world as it transcends spoken language. Creative and resourceful witches and wizards all around the world, not just in Devicia, understood the merits of Ophelia’s Balloon. The magic community enjoyed improved outcomes thanks to one product that Ophelia never advertised as anything but a simple house-cleaning gadget. 

Now Ophelia is often booked as a keynote speaker to discuss her path to success. She reminds shop owners that customers are not interested in the features or specifications of a product but rather in how the product can help their audience achieve their goals, solve their problems, or improve outcomes. 

By showing their fellow Devicians a product and letting them determine what it’s best used for, shop owners can appeal to the customers’ needs rather than focusing on the magical gadget itself. She likes to end her speeches with a quote she learned from the village builders: “If a picture is worth a thousand words, a model is worth a million.”

The Message

When it comes down to it, remember that no matter what you sell, the person you’re presenting it to must see its value in their life. A product’s value is internalized by a potential customer much more when they are experiencing something unforgettable versus simply being told of its potential merit. 

Sometimes, demonstrating the capabilities of a product allows customers to conclude the product’s best purpose – all by itself – even when no specific use cases are discussed. After all, healthcare practitioners are their own type of magical folk who are even smarter than the shop owners of Devicia.