These times, they are a-changin', at least when it comes to the "free-spending, growth-at-all-costs culture" of Silicon Valley. Amidst "a weaker VC funding environment and freezing tech-IPO market," Business Insider sees startups large and small getting more serious about profitability. In April, the San Jose Mercury News reported that the previous five months had seen layoffs at a dozen startups in the Bay Area. And while Dropbox isn't cutting staff, the file-hosting company is cutting its "lavish" perks, per Business Insider. Gone is the free San Francisco shuttle and its gym washing service; the free dinner now starts an hour later, with a cap on guests (once unlimited, now five per month). "When it's good, it's great," PC Magazine notes. "But, sometimes, these perks are not destined to last forever."
Dropbox said in a March email that it has been spending some $25,000 a year in perks per employee ($38 million total, estimates Business Insider). And while it begins to hack away at the figure, the company will be hanging onto the giant chrome panda statue rumored to have cost $100,000 that graces its new office—but, according to that email, only as a "reminder of the importance of … thoughtful spending." It's not just Dropbox, which is valued at $10 billion; startups from Anaplan to Zenefits are tightening their belts. "It's almost like ink," an investor tells the Mercury News. "It's going to slowly spread."