Coockly, the worst French startup name?

Nov 17, 2011
Vote on Hacker News

Now, you all know that I’m not one to usually criticize French startups or entrepreneurs. And I’m not about to criticize what anyone is actually doing (well, at least not in this article). But every now and then I come across a French startup name and giggle to myself, thinking “uh, really?” But recently I came across one startup name and I just couldn’t let it get away…

Coockly. Yes, c-o-o-c-k-l-y.

Oh yeah, you read that correctly. And before I tell you what the company does, you’re probably thinking it has something to do with, er, the inappropriate. Because the name is only one “O” away from “cockly” (not sure why adding a “C” to the name was necessary, but hey).

Get ready to take a bite ?

(Yes, French speakers, that sentence is en franglais). But in all seriousness, this brand new recipe platform has somehow managed to to distract from the fact that it is actually about food. Still relatively under the radar, Coockly offers a variety of recipes and functions to help their members better prepare and plan for cooking (I realize this is a foreign concept to any American readers – but if you have to cook several dishes for a dinner party, this can be rather helpful). Plus, if you only have onions and broccoli in your fridge, Coockly will show you what you can do with them.

Internet meets your fridge.

Even though it may not sound like a million dollar business (or heck, maybe it does!), there are a number of online food and cooking-related companies in France. I’ve already told you about how Super-Marmite rocked the LeWeb pitch finals last year. But to really understand how important cooking is to the French, look no further than recipe database Marmiton that sold to AuFeminin for 3.75 million euros in 2006 – or Le Figaro which recently bought iSaveurs for 1.2 million euros. There are also a number of companies that want to simplify cooking, getting take-out or going to a restaurant, including AlloResto, Qooq1001 menus, Storific, Ma Spatule and Vous Avez Choisi. One of my favorite food-inspired startups is Tribu Gourmande, which allows you to make a personalized recipe book à la Blurb.

Other names that make me wonder…

Obviously, there are other names out there that have made me wonder – including Scoop It (err…), ArtBeating (ouch!), Go4Out (huh?) and Beansight (has nothing to do with beans). Picking a name for your company can be tricky – especially when you want a name that works in both English and French. You can of course give the Dotometer a try, but don’t rely on it to find you a fool-proof name.

Tu t’appelles comment?

But just because there are some French startup names that I can’t wrap my head around doesn’t mean that they aren’t doing cool things – in fact, most of them are. Plus, it also doesn’t mean that all French startups struggle with naming. There are startups that boast some really awesome names, like Jolicloud, Netvibes, Deezer (much better than the original name, BlogMusik), DailyMotion, Allociné, Bluekiwi and many more..

How to tell a French company by the name.

Now, you may think that the only way to tell if a startup is French by its name is if there is a “le” or a “la” in front of the actual company name. But this is true for hardly any French companies. Instead, look for an “eo” stuck onto the end of the company name – as in RegioneoCompaneo, Viadeo, etc. And there you have it, my friends!