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.Welcome to Goulet Q&A episode 82! This week I share about our new Pilot G2 rollerballs, our Goulet nibs, and what we look for in potential team members. Here we go…
New/Upcoming Products – (3:32)
- Field Notes Summer Edition
- Pilot G2 Rollerballs
- Platinum 3776 – New Colors – Black Diamond and Chartres Blue with Rhodium Trim
Pens/Writing – (6:44)
Which material for Fountain pens nibs would you describe as the nicest to use? Obviously lots of pens come with different material nibs, such as steel, 14k Gold, 18k Gold, and even 23ct Palladium. I often notice that the price varies in terms of materials, but some brands price their 14k nibs the same as their 18k ones? IDK. Which ones are the best?
- the truth…it varies!
- steel is pretty much always going to feel stiff, that’s a given
- sometimes 14k also feels stiff (Platinum)
- how soft other gold nibs feel really varies by the pen
- all else equal, the softer the gold (higher k) the more springy it will feel
- nib design has a lot to do with it, not just the material it is
- the best bet, try yourself or read/watch reviews from a trusted source
What is the difference between a stub nib and a BB nib?
- BB is just a huge, fat ball
- a stub is flattened, so there’s variation on the cross and downstrokes
- some BB write suspiciously like a stub, I have a MB149 that does exactly that
In your opinion, do Edison’s gold nibs add significantly to the writing experience over their stainless steel nibs? I’m looking at a Collier, and while the extra $125 wouldn’t break the bank I don’t necessarily want to jump straight to that if it’s not a noticeable improvement (again, in your subjective opinion). Thanks!
- Edison’s steel nibs are great
- the gold nibs are definitely a different feel, much wetter, a lot of spring and even a tad of line variation
- for $125 is it “worth it”? It’ll really depend
- for me, not worth it, you’re better off putting that $125 toward another pen (another Edison, Custom 74, Lamy 2000, Vanishing Point)
Dear Brian, I recently purchased a Jinhao x750 but was unhappy with the nib that came with it. On the recommendation of several reviewers I replaced the faulty nib with a Goulet medium nib and now the Jinhao writes as smooth as Isaac from the Love Boat. Are the Goulet nibs made and smoothed to a specific specification? Or do the Goulet nibs come straight off of the line and then smoothed when they arrive at Goulet HQ? Thanks.
- we get our nibs from Jowo in Germany, tune and adjust them in-house
- it’s done by feel and with a loupe, not particularly ‘exact’ specifications but as exact as it is pretty much anywhere else
- handwork is really required for tuning nibs
Ink – (23:00)
You often recommend Noodler’s X-feather as a good “”everyday”” black ink due to its properties. Do you have a recommendation of a good everyday blue ink?
Paper – (26:55)
Personal – (28:32)
If The Goulet Pen were Dunder Mifflin, would you be a Michael, a Dwight or a Jim?
- If I had to be honest, probably all of them at times
- I have been likened to Michael Scott in Q&A before
- Which do you think I am?
Business – (31:02)
You have stated a few times that every team member at Goulet Pens receives a fountain pen after a few months of working for you and learning about what makes fountain pens great. I’d be interested to hear what choices your staff has made and why.
- it honestly varies quite a bit!
- some of the more popular ones: Lamy CP1, Lamy Safari/Al-Star, TWSBI Mini, Noodler’s Konrad Acrylics/Ebonites, Monteverde Invincias, Platinum Cool
- The reasons they choose them are as wide a variety as what you hear in the fountain pen community, it’s all about personal preference
- we give a pen at their 90-day mark, so they have enough time to handle a bunch and learn kinda what they like
Can you discuss Goulet pens policy of not paying for advertising?
- It’s not so much a policy, just kind of a point of pride
- we had NO money for advertising early on, so we ‘paid’ with our time and effort to engage with the community on FPN and through our blog and YouTube
- we focused 100% on grassroots engagement and content marketing (before that was a buzzword), and that’s just what we know
- surely there are some opportunities we’re giving up by not paying for advertising, but it’s really just a matter of focus for us at this point
- any time I spend working on paid ads is time I’m not helping put out new content (like this!)…which would you rather see me do?
My question is about hiring team members. What qualities do you most value in a team member? As a teacher, I’m thinking ahead for my students. As someone who has sat on numerous interview teams, I have found the interview does not always discern if someone will be a great team member or co-worker.
- Sam can join in on this one with me!
- alignment of mission/vision/purpose/values is the most essential for the long term success of both the company and the individual
- at Goulet we make that easy because we post it up on our site, and we true back to those daily in everything we do. Those who align naturally with those find this to be an awesome place to work!
- best advice for your students: make sure they know themselves, their strengths, weaknesses, and what they want to achieve in their lives, and find a company that aligns with that. Too many people try to work for companies they hate just for money, status, or whatever, and it’s really sad to see people who hate what they do the majority of their waking hours.
- They really shouldn’t try to adapt who they are in an interview to try to seem to fit the company. Companies worth working for should have clearly defined who they are and what they’re all about and that should really resonate with them (the interviewer).
Troubleshooting – (54:11)
@GouletPens My 580AL broke at the nib unit collar (the black part that’s flush with the section). Is this common and any way to prevent it?
- bummer! This isn’t unheard of but also isn’t super-common
- over tightening puts stress on that collar and can cause it to break eventually
- dropping it can break that joint, too
- it’s probably worth reaching out to TWSBI directly for warranty for that (firstname.lastname@example.org), if not them, then us if you got it from us
- separate nib units are available, and while the AL grip isn’t available as a separate nib unit, you can swap the grips pretty easily
I have a Konrad that suddenly won’t hold any ink anymore, I tried heat setting the nib without success and ended up melting the pen. What should I do if another noodler’s pen has a similar defect?”
- oh yikes! Well that’s definitely not ideal!
- heat setting with hot water is a little safer than with a flame or heat gun, not sure which approach you took here
- could also have been a piston issue, that can cause a leak
- either way, if you got it from us we always try to help troubleshoot that stuff, reach out to us if anything crazy is going on
- try for an acrylic Konrad, those seem to come back with fewer issues (if they’re ever available, that is)