It occurs to me that this is quite true, even with companies that aren't startups.
For example, +T-Mobile
was like this throughout 2013 and most of 2014. But that was a symptom of strong execution to bring forth a vision (Uncarrier value proposition, HSPA+ and LTE across its footprint), rather than carelessly spending money without any way to produce a return.
On the other hand, +Sprint
has been burning money for many years, starting from when it acquired Nextel, and maybe even before that. Unlike T-Mobile, Sprint has never been known for having a strong vision and good execution on anything it wants to do. That has led to very wasteful spending and needless support of a dying platform (CDMA, EvDO) instead of a smart conversion to the platform with life in it (UMTS, HSPA+).
Now here we are, and T-Mobile has proven to be remarkably successful, while Sprint continues to flounder in their wastefulness. Sprint is attempting to attract customers on price and value, but the lack of value in the network has made it impossible for it to stick.