Dropbox Cuts Perks, But Not a $100,000 Chrome Panda
Ah, Silicon Valley, where it takes just a month for a hot tech company to realize that maybe it shouldn't have spent the equivalent of a junior engineer's annual salary on a chrome animal decoration.
Many connected to the tech industry -- even tangentially -- are probably used to hearing stories about Silicon Valley excess. Lavish parties here and there; all sorts of fun perks like free lunches, massages, and shuttle busses; crazy salaries, bonuses, and housing stipends depending on where you live in relation to your work.
When it's good, it's great. But, sometimes, these perks are not destined to last forever. According to a new report from Business Insider, Dropbox appears to be scaling back some of its fun little fringe benefits which, according to an email the company sent to its employees, cost it roughly $25,000 per employee per year. In other words, Dropbox is spending just around $38 million each year on perks and extras (based on its roughly 1,500 or so head count), and that's money the company is going to be a bit more thoughtful about going forward.
According to the email, which Dropbox sent out in March, the company will officially be cutting perks like its free San Francisco shuttle, as well as its gym washing service. (Sorry, fitness fans.) Dropbox is also pushing its dinner service back until 7 p.m. -- the little trick said companies use to ensure that you have to work longer hours to benefit from free food -- and cutting the "unlimited guests" perk that Dropbox employees previously enjoyed. Now, they'll only be able to bring a total of five guests each month to Dropbox to partake in food or happy hours.
Life is tough, eh?
Dropbox, which recently announced that it hit half a billion users, is unlikely to pursue any additional venture capital funding based on statements previously made by its CEO, Drew Houston. So, it's possible that the company's belt-tightening, as far as perks go, is meant to illustrate that the company is financially ready (and thinking strategically) for a potential public IPO.
And, yes, that includes being more responsible about decorations like Dropbox's $100,000 chrome panda statue -- which the company plans to keep.It could also match a growing concern by some Silicon Valley venture capitalists that it'll soon be time for startups to go easier on the lavish spending and perks, and instead focus more on how large investments can be treated as such -- money to make more money, not money to just throw away because you have it.
"We're keeping the panda as a company-wide reminder of the importance of both our past and future in thoughtful spending -- but it's just one example. If you spot other ways we can help Dropbox save, please share them," read Dropbox's email.