But some just can't give it up
Despite the higher costs and potential alienation of employees, some companies simply can't find who they want anywhere else.
San Francisco just has more senior level tech talent, admits Grovo's Luijke. The New York-based company just opened up its San Francisco outpost.
"I understand what those other companies are saying, but I'm focused on engineering and product leadership," said Luijke. "Our vice president of products, we had that job open for New York City for over a year. We extended to San Francisco, and we filled it in four months. They (interviewees) didn't want to leave San Francisco, and the pool was bigger there."
And while employees complain about San Francisco's high housing costs, the city's casual culture means they don't have to spend as much on clothing.
Vevo's McCreary said she has an unlimited Rent the Runway subscription to rent clothes to wear when she's in New York for work. She doesn't need them at the office in San Francisco.
Virtual reality media company Upload founder and CEO Taylor Freeman, who recently left San Francisco for Los Angeles, found that investors expected people to be a little more dressed up in southern California. It is opening a second, much larger location in Los Angeles.
"I have been urged to get a nice jacket like a cool Rag and Bone... If you don't believe in having nice shoes or a handbag, it still matters to the people you do business with (in L.A.)," he said.
But, Purple Squirrel's Silber said he carried over one piece of San Francsico's casual attire mentality to his Los Angeles office: No one wears shoes.
"I literally interviewed a guy and went boogie boarding with him," Silber said. "The guy showed up in board shorts, a tank top and sandals. He didn't get the job, but he's still allowed to come to all our parties."
Watch: Hot housing in San Francisco