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Friday, April 22, 2016

Goulet Q&A Episode 120, Open Forum


Goulet Q&A is now available as an audio podcast! Click here  for the RSS feed to use in your podcast app of choice, or click here for a direct download.

In this week’s episode, I talk about the Atlanta Pen Show, Edison nibs, and whether my being so involved in Goulet branding is helping or hurting?

New/Upcoming Products - (7:00)

Pens/Writing - (8:04)

1) @_althaven- Twitter - (8:12)
What pens did @BrianGoulet_ purchase for himself at the Atlanta Pen show?
  • Diplomat pens
  • Fountain Pens of the World and Fountain Pens of Japan Andy Lambrou books
  • Michael Sull Spencerian script books, DVD’s, nib holder

2) Yoo-Jin Baik- YouTube - (17:27)
One of the things that I really like about your site is the "Refine" tool that lets me easily narrow my search. But one thing I notice is that you guys don't really have a "transparent" or "translucent" pen body choice in the refine menu (correct me if I am wrong). Many of my pens are demonstrators and I really love them--but sometimes, it is hard to catalog them. I know you guys have "clear" option, but that does not include demonstrators with a tinted body. Have you ever thought about adding this option to your site?
  • We could certainly do this, technically
  • The hard part is the judgment about when something is “translucent”
  • We haven’t really talked about it, but I’d love feedback

3) Michael P.- Facebook - (20:42)
This question went unanswered a few weeks ago but I'll pose it again. What would explain line variation between my Vac-700, Diamond 580 and Eco. All three with the same ink, on the same paper with EF nibs leave varied line width. Does the nib size have an effect because the Vac-700 with the #6 nib writes significant wider than the EF on the 580 and Eco.
  • these 3 pens all use different sized nibs
  • Vac-700 is #6
  • 580 is #5
  • Eco is #4
  • it’s not that the larger the nib, the broader the writing, that may be the case here but it’s not a steadfast rule
  • it also has to do with the feed, these all use different feeds
  • EF nibs in particular will see more variation, partly because it’s thinner and has less tolerance, partly b/c finer nibs require more handwork and are less forgiving

4) Stacey W.- Facebook - (27:50)
Need some help! LOVE the new Water Lily Edison, but have never owned an Edison pen. I like a smooth nib, which one should I choose? Can you describe the Edison nibs a little bit? Thanks!
  • Edison calls their nibs “smooth with a hint of feedback”
  • the broader you go, the smoother it will be
  • Jowo makes their nibs, same as Goulet
  • Jowo makes really good stuff, and these are some of the best writing steel nibs you’ll find today
  • Even Mike Masuyama complimented Jowo nibs when we were talking in Atlanta
  • they are still though, and really a true European nib in terms of writing line

Ink - (31:01)

5) Kate S.- Facebook - (31:01)
Sometimes when using a cartridge it takes so long for the ink to get through the feed and into the nib. I tried squeezing the cartridge but the plastic is too dense. Aside from shaking the pen (which could result in a mess), what other options do I have?
  • you don’t want to shake it like a Polaroid picture
  • shaking is the most effective thing, hold it in your hand (with the nib up by your knuckles) and hit your hand on the table
  • you can also just let it sit for a while, 5-10 minutes
  • or you could switch to bottled ink!

Business - (35:06)

6) Nelson- Blog - (35:11)
This is a two-part business question for the weekly Goulet Q&A: When you're "assessing honestly" the company's social media strategy, do you ever worry that the company is too personality driven and dependent on you, or rather the public persona that you've developed over the years?

Isn't it silly to just cancel a Q&A if you get sick, go on vacation or, one day, just burn out and don't feel like recording a video? Wouldn't it be wiser to have a number of people represent what Goulet stands for rather than just one person -- and then have those people also participate more actively in the branding of the company?
  • SUCH a great question
  • this is absolutely something that I think about a lot
  • on one hand, I receive a lot of feedback and really get a lot of motivation from the personalized feedback I get (like in Atlanta)
  • I have delegated much, much of what I used to do
  • one of the last things I’ve been holding on to is being the “Goulet” personality, partly because I know how tied in it is to our brand equity
  • I have definitely opened up to others shooting videos, sometimes as guests, other select times in place of me
  • Part of it is just that video is not for everyone, it’s harder than it looks
  • I’ve been leaning on Drew lately for a couple of videos, may do more of that as it makes sense to
  • Most other companies don’t have their CEO involved in as much of the marketing as I am, but we’re not most other companies
  • I really enjoy it, I’m good at it, the company has been built around it, and it’s really working well
  • If I was looking to exit anytime soon, sure, it’d be an issue, but I’m not looking to go anywhere
  • that said I will certainly be thinking about opportunities and contingencies for the future, as a businessman I have to

7) Nelson- Blog - (47:17)
When you watch your older blog posts, do you notice that you've changed in the sense that you've adopted a public persona? We all love the blogs for your sincerity and obvious passion for fountain pens, but do you ever catch yourself thinking, ""OK! It's time for another video -- time to put on 'Brian Goulet' cape and cowl'?
  • I certainly have changed since the beginning! Part of that is just going from 25 to 32, from no kids to 2 kids, yeah I’ve changed
  • When shooting a video I do adjust some of the way I talk just so that I enunciate clearly and don’t use a lot of slang and things that folks wouldn’t understand
  • otherwise, it’s really just me there
  • part of the benefit of having my name in the company is I have extra accountability to whatever I say
  • the passion you see is real, the only things I’ve ever “faked” have been the REALLY over-the-top vids like the various traveling videos, and shading inks, and those are so clearly acted
  • I really don’t have a persona, especially in Q&A
  • anyone who’s met me in person can say I look and talk just like I do in the videos

QOTW: Do you feel that Goulet is too tied in to my personality? If I were to bring in others to record videos, (assuming content still remains solid) would that be welcomed or would you not like that as much? - (52:20)


Thanks so much for joining me this week! You can catch up on any old Q&A videos you missed here.
Write On,
Brian Goulet



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