About Me

My name is Jim Olsen, and this year my wife and myself decided to move to our off grid cabin full time.  Previously, we could not attempt this, but the world has changed in ways we could not have expected, and my travel schedule has been heavily modified to say the least.

I have been programming for over 35 years now.  My first job programming was when I was 13 years old (in 1982), and I have worked at everything from startups (successful and not…) to banks, to enterprises and everything in between.

I am currently the Chief Technology Officer for a software startup, and in that role I usually meet with a lot of clients in person, and work to extend the capabilities and technologies of our company.

Our company, called ModelOp, does advanced management of AI model assets at scale in the enterprise.  It is an entirely new space referred to as ‘ModelOps’ (similar to DevOps but a lot more advanced), and we constantly meet virtually with clients and analysts.  Rarely do they know where I am located at the time they are talking to me, and it is all working!


We were actually vacationing in Mexico with our family, when the pandemic was announced.  I had been traveling to a client the week before, and suddenly now we had to worry about being allowed back into the country from Mexico.  All travel was being shut down, and my home county was experiencing a massive lock down, no groceries were available, and the world had changed overnight.

My wife and I talked, and we decided to move full time up to our cabin, which was fully stocked for the winter, and figured we would spend a couple weeks there while this passed.  Boy, were we not aware of what was really to come.

To do this, the road is closed for six miles, as the cabin is at over 10,000 feet in Colorado, but we have a UTV with tracks on it to get there.  So we loaded up supplies, the cats, and enough stuff to get by for a whiles and headed to the mountains.  This was the start of our adventure.


Arrival at the Cabin

Exploring the new Home

Our First Campfire of the Season

The Driveway Slowly Melts Out

The First Hummingbirds Arrive

An Extended Stay

Well it turned out it wasn’t a couple of weeks that we were in for.  Things stay closed, all business were work from home, and the challenges in the tech space continue to mount.

Fortunately, a good portion of our company already worked from home, so we were able to stay focused.

In staying focused, my wife and I decided to stay put until travel became necessary again.

As you can see, the seasons changed, the road is open again, and I continue to be very busy as the CTO of a company working at 10,000 feet off grid.

The Challenges of being a CTO Off Grid

Well since this is a very unique situation, and is likely to continue for a while, I thought I would share my story in a blog format of what it takes to be a CTO working truly off the grid.

There is no cell service, no internet lines, and no power beyond what you make.  So how have I  managed to be successful in this environment?  Well that is the reason for this blog and I will share my stories over the coming months.

I am happy to have you along on this journey and hope you enjoy the content!

The Sawmill in Action