Why startups should release their code as open source

From my experience, it’s a pretty common presumption of entrepreneurs that they need to protect their “intellectual property” as much as possible to ensure a successful startup business.

However, in this opensource.com article, Clément Flipo describes how his startup company https://dokit.io/ did just the opposite, and how they leveraged open source licensing to jump-start usage of their platform and building a potential customer base for their services. It’s not an unfamiliar model – Discourse, the software powering this forum, has much of its devleopment funded with a similar startup business model.

Flip says:

In the early days, we found ourselves living a lot under the fear of distributing our knowledge for free. In reality, it was the opposite—open source gave us the ability to very rapidly build a startup that was sustainable from the beginning.

Take a look at the article and let us know – do you agree with this approach? Are there cases where it may be more successful than others?