In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about Napkin Notes Dad, Historical Reference of Limited Editions, and retractable nibs. Enjoy!

This week:

Pens/Writing

1) squeakingsquid- Instagram (7:57)

I just got myself a LAMY Studio and now I’m curious how many special edition colors exist for it.

  • There have been several, though somewhat inconsistent over the years
  • I *think* there are 13 total, based on what I could find
  • We are working on compiling them for our blog, since there is little historical reference
  • Pearl White 2007
  • Rubin Black 2008
  • Violet 2009
  • Pearl Black 2009
  • Platinum Gray 2009
  • Platinum Plated 2010
  • Royal Red 2012
  • Wild Rubin 2014
  • Racing Green 2017
  • Olive 2018
  • Terracotta 2018
  • Aquamarine 2019 (yet to be released)
  • Lx Black 2019 (yet to be released)

2) mic_larrry- Instagram (12:30)

Why is Visconti changing the nibs on the Homo Sapiens?

  • Drew and I talked about them in Write Now Episode 149, so that’s a good reference
  • it’s not just the Homo Sapiens, they’re all going to be changing over, this is just the first we’re starting to see
  • It’s not 100% official word, mostly speculation on my part, so take that with a grain of salt
  • I suspect some of it has to do with availability, we’ve has stock issues on particular nibs
  • some of it was based on feedback about the nibs, they were polarizing
  • some was cost/practicality, I’m sure
  • the palladium holds a dear place in my heart, but honestly, I don’t hate this change because I’m really enjoying the 18kt I’m seeing come through so far, and in all practicality, there will be little noticed difference with the new nibs, they’re great nibs

3) bradthebear1- Instagram (20:40)

What prevents brands from being able to make click retractable pens like the Vanishing Point?

  • I’m sure Pilot has a patent on the mechanism itself, so exact copies are a no go
  • from what I understand it’s not that simple to engineer, that’s part of why you don’t see knock-offs
  • there’s really nothing preventing anyone else from doing it, but they’d have to be able to make their own small nibs (step 1), they’d have to economically engineer a reliable trap door and click mechanism, also not easy, and have it contained in a pen thin enough and short enough to feel good in the hand
  • this is actually really hard to achieve!
  • I did see some vintage prototypes of Platinum in the 60’s with a click mechanism, so it’s not like no one else has thought about it, I think it’s just hard to compete with the VP, and at the price, isn’t so practical for other companies to do!

4) pran_pranav- Instagram (27:11)

What are some high end everyday carry fountain pens? No limited editions

Ink

5) ni_na_blue- Instagram (38:43)

I wanna know the best qualities that a good ink should have.

  • this is one of the most subjective questions you could ask!
  • it 100% depends on what you consider “good ink” and what you consider “best qualities”
  • easy of operation in the pen, not going to clog, going to be relatively easy to clean, not stain, those are all positive
  • this is not alway so easy to convey
  • permanence is often desired, so we try to denote water resistance whenever possible
  • no mold, no bad smell, no slime or crusty things, that’s bad!
  • depth of color, level of saturation, flow, they’re all dependent on what you are looking for…most people want deeply saturated color with smooth flow
  • shading, sheen, also vary
  • something that doesn’t feather on paper or bleedthrough, that’s usually desired
  • shorter dry time is always good, not always possible but a worthy goal
  • generally speaking, pH neutrality is a positive trait, but pH is not often advertised or agreed upon as important in the community
  • the bottom line is aside from the obvious like having it work properly in your pen, not make a mess or smell terrible, and general look like a normal line on the page, it completely depends on what you’re desiring that ink to do

Business

6) Glenn M- Facebook (46:22)

Has Goulet won any awards for your business practices and customer service? How much of how you do things is an extension of you two as people would you say and how much of it comes out of business school as a deliberate strategy? Regardless, almost every online business I’ve ever dealt with could learn a thing or two from you.

  • we have gotten a couple of different awards, yes, when we’ve applied for them
  • in 2018 we were recognized as the #3 small business to work for in our city, and also won the “Doer” award among all size businesses
  • this year we’ve been certified as a Great Place to Work, and there are other awards we may see as a result of that as the year goes on
  • Small Giants is another one we’re looking at applying for later this year
  • awards are fine and they serve a purpose, but they are not the end goal
  • they should reflect a good culture, and we like them because it gives us some objectivity and things to work on as part of the internal surveying process
  • actually getting the award mainly just bring solicitors at first, but it does show external candidates in our recruiting process a little bit of the kind of culture we have
  • the award in and of itself doesn’t change us, it just gives kind of a first impression to people that don’t know us as well
  • business school???? HA! No, very few of the business practices we have came out of business school, it really was just a very broad overview of some of what approaches business, like finance and marketing.
  • Most of business school teaches you how to work in a larger organization, when you start your own thing, you are digging deep from within and coming up with nearly everything through the filter of who you are, or in this case, who Rachel and I are
  • as the company has grown, we’ve still tried to keep our “soul” in the business, through mission, purpose, and values, but it of course involves way more than just us now
  • we don’t do everything great, and we have failures every single day, but dangit do we try, and we do our best each day with what we have and that’s all we can ask of ourselves and our team

QOTW: What’s the longest you’ve ever sat down and written in one session? (1:01:44)

Writing Prompt: Write a loving phrase on a napkin and give it to a friend or family member in your life. (1:02:25)

Write On,
Brian Goulet