This, we think, is the first time that Adobe and breakdancing have been used in the same sentence. For while Bernard Huang is now the Co-Founder of Clearscope, he once ran a breakdance crew; and Adobe is just one of the companies that relies on one of the world’s most popular content creation platforms.
And we say “just one” advisedly. Clearscope serves thousands of companies worldwide, many of which you will have heard of (HubSpot? Conde Nast? Nvidia?). So how did Bernard — a thriving SEO consultant behind leading brands such as DoorDash, AllTrails, Strava and Compass — come to start his own company? And what advice does he have to potential entrepreneurs?
Read this quick-fire interview to find out.
Related reading: What will the digital landscape look like in 2028?
What’s your elevator pitch?
Clearscope is a SEO content creation platform, trusted by companies like Adobe, Intuit, Nvidia, HubSpot and many more.
What made you launch a startup?
I’ve always been interested in startups and entrepreneurship from an early age. I started a breakdance crew and created my own board game in middle school and the freedom that startups had to offer naturally made a lot of sense when I graduated from college.
What problem are you trying to solve?
Helping SEO content creators rank better on Google.
Can you talk us through your journey so far? What’s a major milestone you’ve reached?
We launched Clearscope as a bootstrapped SaaS over six years ago. Today, Clearscope is a best-in-class product that does millions in revenue and helps thousands of customers get more results from search.
Who are your main competitors and what distinguishes your startup from them?
MarketMuse and SurferSEO are our main competitors. We stand out by offering better recommendations, a more approachable product, and a stronger reputation in the SEO ecosystem.
How has the startup scene in Austin, Texas helped and/or challenged your own startup’s development?
We started in San Francisco where it was difficult to scale a bootstrapped startup since we were competing against inflated VC comp packages and lottery ticket promises. Moving to remote work has been a great way for us to find talent across the world, but comes with its challenges on team building and management.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made and how did you overcome it?
Hiring people and thinking that they can do any job that we need was one of the biggest mistakes I made. It wasn’t until we brought in someone into the right role that I recognised the importance of finding the right people for the right role.
Where do you hope your startup will be in ten years?
Thriving and making a large impact in the SEO ecosystem.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time?
People tick differently. Don’t project your own biases and beliefs onto others. Instead, really understand the goals and desires of your team members and meet them where they are.
What would you say to potential investors reading this interview?
Sorry, we’re not looking for investors! We are looking for talented folks to join Clearscope. You can find our full list of open roles here: clearscope-careers.
What are the key factors contributing to the success of startups in Austin, Texas?
I think being surrounded by aspiring entrepreneurs helps, especially in the early stages of finding product-market fit. Since we’re remote first, it doesn’t matter as much where we are.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs and anyone looking to launch their startup?
Stop overthinking things and just launch! You’ll learn the fastest when you start asking people for money.
We hope you enjoyed this interview
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