Ben Shaw


Founder | Fellow | Advisor | Author | Host

Book - The First Kudu


The First Kudu shares a narrative-driven non-fiction tale of how HouseME’s pursuit of unicorn status did not always go to plan.

It is a chronicle of the chaos experienced in building a start-up, and it unpacks in gritty detail the memorable lessons learnt along the way.

HouseME set out to solve racism and inefficient pricing in long-term residential renting, and it evolved into an extensive digital platform with a team of thirty-four and as partner to the largest media company on the African continent. It entered 2020 on the cusp of raising an industry-defining Series-A round of capital and then the pandemic hit, and South Africa was locked down. The unique challenges of racism, the African start-up ecosystem and industry-specific hurdles provide compelling context through which the book navigates.

The latter part of the book offers an applicable framework for founders and entrepreneurial leaders, and it is written to distil takeaways for those entering the arena.


The book released in November 2023 (ISBN 978-1-7764432-6-0) under TMP publishers and is available at all leading bookshops and online stores.

The audio book which is narrated by both authors has been released on multiple platforms.

Order details

Exclusive Books: here

Kindle: here

Wordsworth: here

Audible: here