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I’m finally feeling better and am back with a new episode of Goulet Q&A for you! This week I talk about the inks everyone should have, how I rotate through my pen collection, and my favorite part of my job. Enjoy!

New/Upcoming Products – (2:48)

Pens/Writing – (3:56)

1) csf_photo – Instagram – (3:57)
How do I store spare nibs? Do I just throw them all in a bag and hope they don’t get damaged? What about nibs that have a black finish? Won’t they get scratched?

  • Scratches are possible, but really only if they’re being squished/crushed
  • A bag is usually okay, but not 100% ideal
    Foam or sponge works well
  • In any kind of a case that works for you
  • VP nib units we use long tubes

2) Donovan P. – Facebook – (7:17)
Why do you think that colored nibs aren’t more common? And only on cheaper pens?

  •  Supply and demand
  •  I honestly haven’t seen a lot of colors outside of Platinum Preppies, and even that’s changed now.

3) John S. – Facebook – (9:47)
Hello, I’m a college student who needs your help. People are always in search of their idea of a springy gold nib to smoothly bounce along with their writing, and well, I don’t care. I have to write on copy paper frequently and I need a nib like a rock to punch through it. People usually ask about soft nibs, but do you have any recommendations for something just short of a nail?

  • Definitely stick with steel nibs
  • Lamy,
    Faber Castell
  • Holding any pens more upright will stiffen them up
  • Broader nibs will take more abuse, but likely feather more

Ink – (12:58)

4) Cruise H.- Facebook – (12:59)
For someone newer into fountain pens, what are the most necessary inks that “everyone should have” or very popular? I personally am a fan of Diamine marine and have been wanting to get an ink sample of x-feather for school but you are currently out of stock of it. Thanks and keep up the great job!

Business – (17:40)

5) Donovan P. – Facebook – (17:59)
Brian, as me and many other respect and value your opinion, have you seen Pen Economics post about Mont Blanc’s censoring of things on FPN, and just the general Over Lording of FPN, what is your view on the restrictions to the community and MB’s additude? Thank you

  • This is a minefield!
  • It really becomes a conversation about censorship and moderation of online communities
  • I can definitely see the reasoning for both sides
  • Personally, I have elected to over share shortcomings of my products and use the negative feedback to increase my knowledge

6) Juan B. – Facebook – (37:04)
Hi Brian, I’ve noticed for several weeks the “Big Data” book in your shelf. Goulet Pens should be getting thousands of customers interactions every day with different touch points in so many areas/platforms, and your databases growing exponentially. My question is: Do you have a data & analysis strategy in your company? In order to understand the story all this data tells. Looking at the future, the sustainable way of keeping the experience personal and improving it should involve some or a lot of Big Data and Analytics. Will be really interesting if you may elaborate on this.

  • Very interesting question, I haven’t actually read the book yet
  • Not wanting to make anyone paranoid, but a lot of data is collected on you everywhere you go online
    Social media: “if you aren’t the customer, you’re the product”
  • Good documentary on Netflix: Terms and Conditions May Apply
  • We do try to be intentional about how we run our business, we aren’t like “Big Brother” though, and probably look a lot less at the data than most other online retailers
  • We have gone mainly off engagement and our own intuition for our business decisions

Personal – (48:53)

7) Brittany J. – Facebook – (48:54)
I recognize a few of the books on your bookshelf, but some of them I can’t make out. What all do you have back there?

  • Let’s take a look!

8) Jeremy F.- Facebook- (01:03:10)
Hey Brian, with all of the multiple & varied tasks that you do on a daily basis, what is your favorite part of your job?

  •  Overall, it’s the variety I love (in no particular order)
    •  Strategy,
      Playing with pens,
      Vendor relationships,
      Leading and building others,
      Social media,
      Building culture, Shooting videos,
      Really anything futuristic that involves opportunity and change

9) @aceeccc – Twitter – (01:07:17)
Brian, how do you rotate through all your pens? your schedule doesn’t seem to leave much time for journaling etc… #GouletQA

  • I have the same 24 hours in a day that everyone else has
  • I journal personally at least 3-4 times a week
  • I’m using pens every day
  • I definitely don’t rotate through all of my pens
  • Lots of my pens are for reference, comparison, archiving, photos/videos
  • There’s no way I could really rotate 400ish pens with any regularity
    I do make plenty of time for playing with pens though, it often is more focused time than just leisure writing

QOTW: What ink’s do you feel like everyone should have? – (01:12:54)

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