After announcing our Goulet company values last week, we’ve gotten tremendous feedback about how we run our company. There have been a lot of great questions about some of the finer points of how we make the “Goulet Magic” happen, so Rachel and I both wanted to open up and share some of the “why” behind what our company does. Some of it is about pens, but some of it really is just about what we believe and how we choose to run our company. It’s a great insight into our way of doing things. Enjoy!

 

1) Kevin L.- email (2:54):
From the outside it appears quite evident what the values of your company and the team are so why the need to put it down on paper and spend the time doing it?

 
2) Patrick D.- Facebook (10:13):

What are some of the unique traits that make up a Goulet team member? Much like fountain pen users are a unique bunch I have to think that those working for a pen and paper company are likely to be a pretty fascinating lot. 

  • we do have a pretty unique group
  • DISC profiles
  • strengthsfinder
  • all of our staff knew nothing about fountain pens coming in
    • we like that
    • gives empathy for our new customers, which are many
  • many are completely ‘green’ coming in, allows us to mold them
  • those with previous work experience usually come from a much less caring place
    • they love how we treat our team
  • Key traits of those successful here:
    • team players
    • self-starters
    • high moral character/trust
    • caring/empathetic
    • detail-oriented
3) Tristan N.- Facebook (24:45): 

Does the GPC has some internal competitions we do not yet know of? Like who can disassemble and reassemble an Ahab the fastest? Desk chair races? Hide and seek? The floor is lava? Who recognizes this ink?

  • We’ve done some office competitions before, but just for fun
  • Annual olympics
    • shooting water into a vial with ink syringe
    • ink sample speed test
    • Airzooka
    • silicone grease shuffleboard down our ramp
    • Lamy Box Jenga
    • “guess the swab”
    • “guess the pen” macro images of pen parts
    • pen trivia
  • Cowtails
 
4) Dan E. – Facebook (31:03):
1. Most of the decisions we make in life, the kind that help define us, the kind that we defend, these are challenged at some point. Now there are two basic types of pleas or arguments that can be offered in defense of anything; emotional & rational. When making these decisions and defining your values as a company/family, was the process rational, emotional, both perhaps?
 
2. I am going to my first pen show next month (the DC Pen Supershow). Will the GPC be represented there? 

5) Mate F. – Facebook (41:22):
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much is integrity as a company important for you?
6) Danny – Ink Nouveau (45:16):
I was just looking at my latest invoice from you guys and I was admiring Jeremy’s handwriting. It got me wondering if everyone there has good penmanship and if it’s an unconscious or unspoken prerequisite for employment. I myself have terrible handwriting, it’s kind of an all-caps scrawl. But I love the way fountain pens feel and write, even though I sometimes feel like I’m using them incorrectly because I can’t write in cursive. I was just wondering if I’m all alone or if anyone on your team also doesn’t write in cursive. 

7) Kate D. – YouTube (48:04):
Has the “Goulet Way” of doing things affected your life outside of the office, and if so, how?

8) @MobyProf – Twitter (50:47):I love the service week idea! How did that develop? What did you have to say “no” to to make it happen?



9) James B.- email (56:22):
Brian, one thing I would love to see is more about the choices you make for updates to your web site. Such prosaic matters as what video camera you use, whether or not to use professionals for filming, and just how you learned to do all the wonderful things you do. I don’t know if that has been or could be part of one of your Q and A sessions or something else, but I for one would be most interested.10) Michael P.- email (1:00:00)
Your new values do not focus on fountain pens in particular but generally on supporting individuals in their writing experiences. Given this, it seems that your new values would support selling ballpoints, rollerballs, and other writing instruments. Is this something you are considering for your company?




Thanks as always to everyone who asked questions this week, it was an honor to be able to share what we do on a deeper level. Next week we’ll do an Open Forum again, so be sure to post whatever random questions you have in the comments below. If you missed any previous Q&A’s, be sure to check them out here. Have a great week!

Write On,
Brian Goulet