Stormtrooper (Sith) or Jedi
What kind of investigation team have you chosen?
Exploring the difference between investigation agencies through a fun “movie geek” perspective.
First of all, I need to start off with an apology to the security company that actually used one of the images above to describe themselves. I’m not poking fun at you and I have purposely removed any reference to your company because although your advertisement completely inspired this article; it’s actually not about you or your attempt to buy my firm at all. The advertisement initially confused me and then as time went on, I realized that the description fits a lot of investigation agencies in our industry and around the world. So, please don’t be offended by this article. Any similarity or situation discussed in this article is purely coincidental and not necessarily aimed at you.
Now that, that’s out of the way… Jedi’s versus Sith, Rebels versus Stormtroopers, so many great comparisons to the investigative industry that I barely know where to start. For those of you that are not familiar with the Star Wars movie franchise, I highly recommend it and please give all credit for the images above and in this article to the appropriate parties. We have no affiliation of any kind with the movie, the franchise, the actors, the blah, blah, blah. I’m just using them because they illustrate a point. Please watch the movies before you read on because there are spoilers all over the place in this article.
Let’s start out with a quick synopsis of the movie series where the Sith (there are always 2) are the “bad guys” of the universe and they built up an army to conquer the universe and the rebels (a.k.a. the good guys!) are the hold-outs and small independent operators of the universe that have banned together to solve the problems caused by the Sith, and bring peace to the universe. (Super simplified. Please forgive me.)
This isn’t that far off from the investigation universe. In the beginning, there was balance and then somebody committed a crime and decided not to be honest about their involvement in it. Eventually, somebody else was tasked with figuring out who did it and as time went on the cycle continued and became very complicated. If the story ended there, we would still be pretty much balanced out but that’s not how this story goes.
At some point in time, some of these investigators (in my mind, the lesser qualified and inappropriately focused investigators) decided that rather than spend a bunch of time digging through details, confirming facts, verifying information, etc., it would be much better to do a simple version of the job, invoice heavily and provide a fast answer…even if it wasn’t necessarily the right answer or the full truth. This was the initial calling or temptation by the “Dark Side” and the birth of the “Sith” in our industry.
They quickly ran into a problem in that they needed LOTS of investigators really quickly, to fill the marketplace and muddy the investigative waters. By performing more investigations in a very short time, they would shadow the marketplace and the majority of clients (new to using an investigator) would gravitate towards them because they are the known sources for the service. The similarity to the movie series is that in the movies, the Trade Federation and Republic were at odds and although the Jedi had been the known protectors of the universe, the Sith formed the Empire which built a massive military to blanket the universe. They then took those protector roles through the use of force, intimidation, and general poor conduct. The only problem they had was coming up with mindless followers to give them the numbers that they needed.
In the movie, this problem was solved by ordering “Clone Troopers”. These Clones were not taught to think or “investigate” anything, they perform only the basic purposes:
- Produce the volume of staff that impresses some and intimidates others;
- Take orders without question and mindlessly perform a task;
- Try to look cool while doing it;
As the movie story goes…eventually, there weren’t enough clones to handle the workload. (Apparently, the Sith underestimated the size of the universe and the number of clones it would actually take to complete tasks when all of them only do part of the job and the problems are rarely ever addressed.) So they started collecting stragglers and immigrants and anybody that they could find that could be controlled and submissive long enough to get the job done while essentially working for next to nothing. This is very similar to the Security and Investigations industries. These “Sith” companies that decided to become “super companies” hired large numbers very quickly and ignored the responsibility of teaching them what they needed to know to grow and succeed as investigators and security officers. These companies literally hire hundreds of “bodies” at a time. Not security professionals or investigators, just bodies. In many cases, they could not read, write or even speak English; they did not know the job; they rarely had any past experience, and they rarely served any purpose other than as a visual deterrent or to give the appearance that something was being done to appease a client.
In the movie series, this led to a shift in power with those that were corrupt leading the universe and those that were powerless either submitting to them or living in the remote or undesirable locations of the universe. In the Security and Investigation industries, we too experienced these dark times. You see, as the number of unqualified investigators and security professionals rose, clients started to forget that quality investigators and security professionals actually existed. Clients actually started to accept that everybody just offered something mediocre and they struggled to find options that were at least average. This led to the next wave of “Sith” companies; those that capitalize on weakness. These newer companies began to undercut the pricing of the marketplace drastically. So much so, that even today the prices are all over the place for no particular reason. These companies realized that since the bar had lowered itself so much, they could easily offer just as poor a product at a lower cost and gain market share.
The market place became messy. Companies struggled to pay employees as little as possible but maintained their pricing wherever possible to offset the newer accounts that had to compete with the under-cutters. At this point, there could be NO turning back on the lack of quality because the margins were so low at times clients were being taken in just to maintain the rent on the office of the security or investigations provider.
Many of the companies that did make it through this period and still exist today discarded their investigative divisions and focused on security. It required less thought, fewer resources, and made much more money. The good news was that as time went on this way… small independent investigation companies began to emerge and grow. Many of these were the early Jedi type companies. They focused on solving crimes, rebuilding communities, and finding the truth to help those in need.
The bad news… is that as those companies grew, the dark side called to them. Some of them began to “diversify” into security so that they could earn more money and in doing so they quickly saw just how much money could be made avoiding the work of an investigation. Others became corrupt and provided their services only to those who had the money to afford them (often unscrupulous parties). Those large super companies from the past became greedy again and came back into the investigative market and again flooded the market place having the same result as before.
Today there are tens of thousands of options in Security and Investigation companies in almost every country in the world. Those with the best results are the Jedi type companies. There are not too many of us out there and we can at times be very hard to find, especially when you are pressed for time searching or don’t know what you need yet. Axis Vero Incorporated is founded on the original “Jedi” type mission of helping others and putting the case ahead of our own personal interests. We have been approached by “Dark Side” companies and offered very large sums of money for our firm, and we have been similarly approached by those companies in an effort to hire away our talent, and yes they have then resorted to trying to crush us (much like the Jedi Rebels in the movie series) but we continue to thrive and grow because our commitment to doing what is right and being fair is what separates us from the rest of the investigations universe.
You won’t find us strutting around among our peers in flashy clothes, showing off our brand names, sporting the most expensive watch or technology but you will find us where we belong… among our clients, working to solve their cases in the most accurate and cost-effective way that we can. When we need to, we use our “Jedi mind tricks” to get past the mindless opposition as they try to counter us or impact an investigation, and we always provide hope to our clients because we offer the truth to them.
At the end of the day, you have thousands upon thousands of options to get you to the end of your legal journey but how you arrive, how well the ride has been managed and what you have to show for the trip you’ve been on is completely dependent on who you choose to travel with. So… are you looking for a Stormtrooper or a Jedi to get you there?