An Origin Story

James & Dara O'Loughlin


Tl:dr; Dara and I built an app. It’s really cool. Uniquely solves a problem and we have a

rad team.


For years and years, I would save TV Shows and Movies that people told me about in the notes app on my phone/computer.

During the pandemic, it seemed like Dara and I were consuming a ton more shows and movies. We would get our best recommendations from friends. One day Dara said why don’t you start writing who recommended the show next to the recommendation.

One night hanging outside “pandemic style” with our friends David and Tara we found ourselves talking about what to watch – again. I told them about Dara’s new system to keep track of who made the recommendations next to the show. Tara loved the idea and said something along the line, “I always get great recommendations from a specific friend.” This was the *exact point in time* I realized we need to build an app that we can get recommendations from our friends. This is the #1 topic of conversation. (and the turns out to be the #1 question asked to Google in 2021). I told them we need to build this app! To which they responded, “If you do, we’re investing…”

Dara and I shared the idea with other friends and we received a unanimous response, “can we invest?” After many of these “can I invest” conversations, I thought we HAVE to make this app if people really want to invest without us even asking or having an app! We realized the key things the app needed to do was get recommendations from friends and save them. Along the way, many great features have been added to support these core ideas like displaying the network(s) the show is on, having a place for conversations, displaying the trailers, etc…

Our drive home was pretty exciting trying to come up with a fun name for this idea, “Friend Picks” “Your Friend Picks” “Pickle” we had lots of ideas.

The next night we were hanging out with our friends Sean and Allison brainstorming names. Allison came up with Recs or Rex like a king and or t-rex. We were then trying to come up with a catchy name for “friends” and Kenzie said how about “clique?” — and this is how CliqRex was born. Get Rex from your Cliq. Your cliq is the best source for TV Shows, Movies, Books, and Podcast recommendations.

And we’re off!!! After we had the name I started drawing a pixelated dino like the Google “no internet” t-rex. A few iterations later and we had our happy CliqRex Dino who gives big hugs with tiny arms. I really love our dino. ?❤

I pitched the idea to my partner at Pixaura, Timur, and he agreed this was a great idea. I knew our team at Pixaura had the power to build and market this idea (like we do for many other companies). The timing was right as I was fortunate to have an incredibly smart developer that could build the MVP (minimum viable product) app. Max isn’t on Facebook but he is critical to our proof of concept being built and working. It was SO FUN seeing it come to life and work.

Along the way, the leadership team grew as I shared the idea. One of the first to join was my co-worker and friend Michael LeFort. He owned an agency in NYC for 20 years and I work with him day-to-day at Pixaura. Michael has led strategy for clients like Hit Entertainment (Thomas the Tank Engine, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina), Nickelodeon, HBO, and MetLife to name a few. Michael is

rad and my nickname for him is Uncle Mike. He spins words and ideas like a magician. I’m blessed to get to work with him. ?

I was trying to be secretive with friends so as not to let the idea out of the bag but I still wanted to get their feedback. I had non-Pixaura people sign NDAs. From the beginning, Gillian was in! She teaches marketing at Miami of Ohio, consults with clients like P&G and I remember her saying, “I’ve helped 100s of people become millionaires, it’s time to do the same for me!” She also brought a really special component to the table, her C.A.R.E.S. IP (Intellectual Property) is woven into the DNA of CliqRex.

“The app is a source of positivity, connection, and entertainment to empower our entertainment decisions and enrich our lives.”

That’s a pretty bold statement and we think about it with every decision we make! This is special. Because the more we build this app the problem I see with EVERYTHING out there is that bots and mega-corps are trying to tell you what to watch, listen to, read, etc… They are spraying our minds with a firehose of media. CliqRex is ALL about creating a micro-social community that you control.

Back to the team. Michael LeFort recommended his great friend Pete Mastin. Pete’s done some pretty killer tech stuff like help develop IBM’s Watson and the last company he helped build was bought by Meta. Pete was onboard. Man, this is becoming real! The last two people to join the CliqRex Team are Karl and Bob. I met Karl Thomsen through a mutual friend as we watched the Bengals make it to the Superbowl. He is the CEO of a software company in silicon valley (Infuse) and is so fun to be around. Dara and I instantly became friends with him. His wit is infectious and his brain power is mesmerizing.

Last but not least to join is one of my oldest friends that Dara and I knew from Miami of Ohio, Bob Roman. We know Bob and his wife Sarah back from when we were “kids.” I worked with him for several years until he opened his own agency in Denver (FireAntStudio). Bob has been critical in working through all of the product designs.

Finally and first is Dara! She has invested so much time and energy in the project. On countless days we would sit and ponder button names, functionality, and features for CliqRex. Honestly, this has been a wonderful project to create and build with her. I think we’re unstoppable when we work together! ❤

So, there you have it… We had a great idea, started building it and the team appeared. And now, we are now bringing it to life. We’ve also been fortunate enough to have friends and family as our alpha testers; Jake, Josh, James(jamie), Krista, Bethany, Zach, Jeff Edmondson, Kristina, Steve, John, Aris, Annette, Kathi, Andrew Van, Emma, Brett, and the biggest contributor/user Kenny Bassett ) to help define and refine the app and help us focus on what is important! We’re sorry that it’s taken apart right now as we did a MAJOR overhaul to get it ready to handle 1Million+ users! #staytuned

To date, we’ve built the proof of concept and become a PBC (Public Benefit Corp) like Patagonia, and Ben & Jerry’s to name a few. This means we are not solely focused on profits, but to do good in the world. We have submitted a patent. Yes, there is a very cool part of our technology that is Patent Pending. We’ve filed with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) to offer shares/ownership to investors. My company Pixaura has begun to build a marketing program.

I’m more excited about this project than I was when I was mining Bitcoin in 2011 and trying to tell everyone about cryptos as a great opportunity to invest in — which eventually paid off my house.

If you’d like to be a part of and invest in this fun company CliqRex Inc. you can. From $99.00 to $999,999.00 you get voting shares!

The current team is perfectly capable to finish this project but we are raising funds for 2 main reasons. The first is to hire another developer to bring us to market faster and second is to buy ads when we go to market.

Please check out our website ( and let me know if you have ANY questions! And, if you want to invest hop over to our crowdfunding page on Netcapital.

Phew…. Thanks for reading!


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P.s., stay tuned we’ll let you know when we launch.