'Frupidity' is a new word making the rounds inside Amazon, a combo of the company's 'frugality' leadership principle and 'stupidity'

'Frupidity' is a new word making the rounds inside Amazon, a combo of the company's 'frugality' leadership principle and 'stupidity'
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy speaks at the GeekWire Summit.Dan DeLong/GeekWire
  • "Frupidity" is a new word making the rounds inside Amazon.
  • It combines "frugality," one of Amazon's 16 principles, and "stupidity."

There's a new word making the rounds inside the Amazon offices: "Frupidity."

It's a combination of "frugal" and "stupidity," according to former Amazon exec Ethan Evans, who wrote about the term in a blog post last month.

"Frugality" is one of Amazon's 16 leadership principles, a list of values the company uses to make business decisions. But as Insider's Eugene Kim reported in a story published on Wednesday, some employees worry that Amazon is too strict with the principles — and that the company is moving away from its "Day 1" startup culture and into a "Day 2" mindset.

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One example of "frupidity": Amazon source told Insider that an employee was forced to drive hours on a Thursday from Los Angeles to Amazon's San Francisco office last year for a company outing instead of flying, all in the name of "frugality."

"[Frupidity] comes when the principle of Frugality is applied without an eye towards value and in practice is implemented as 'do not spend money,'" Evans, the former Amazon exec wrote in his blog post. "It is easy (if lazy) to try to look frugal by saying no to most or all expenses."


Amazon's spokesperson told Insider that requiring an employee to drive from LA to San Francisco for a company event is "not consistent" with the intent of the company's Leadership Principles or travel and expense policy.

In his blog post, Evans wrote about an alleged instance when a boss of his bought team coffee mugs with his own money.

"Whether or not he was Frupid, he was coerced by the culture into an unnatural act," Evans wrote. "A tight knit, successful team wanted coffee mugs for crying out loud. This is a small, almost trivial cost. It would have been repaid literally 1,000 times if it helped retain or motivate one employee."

As Kim notes in his full report, moving into a "Day 2" culture at Amazon could be a major issue for CEO Andy Jassy. Former CEO and current executive chairman Jeff Bezos once said that "Day 2" means "stasis, followed by irrelevance, followed by excruciating, painful decline, followed by death."