Homeless-By-Choice Entrepreneur Is Launching His Startup From The Woods

All an Internet entrepreneur really needs to get started is a laptop, batteries, and decent Wi-Fi. Swedish developer Thomas Backlund is trying to make his startup dreams come true from a tent.

Homeless-By-Choice Entrepreneur Is Launching His Startup From The Woods
Tent via Shutterstock

Internet startups don’t need much in the way of equipment or amenities, so entrepreneurs have free rein in choosing where to locate. They can rent desks in a coworking space, hole up in a one-car garage (a la Hewlett and Packard), or just work out of their apartments. Swedish developer Thomas Backlund decided even the apartment wasn’t worth the rent; after surveying his options, he chose the woods.


He described his thinking in a recent message to The Listserve:

I recently quit my job and my apartment to live in the forest in a tent.

Actually tonight I’m in a wind shelter by a still and beautiful lake and in front of me there is a small fire, the sun is setting, and on my lap, my laptop.

The homeless entrepreneur lives and works using a lightweight backpacking version of a home office, which includes mobile broadband service.

I power my laptop, phone and external battery with two portable Brunton 62 Watt solar panels. I cook nice food on my Primus OmniLite stove.I live in a comfortable Hilleberg tent. I carry all 35 kg in a Norrona Recon back pack.

Backlund is cryptic about what he’s doing on that laptop, but he claims to be coding something with the purpose of “bringing software development to the masses.” He says he isn’t going to return to civilization until the product has taken off–a bold move, which he admits wasn’t easy.

Quitting my apartment and my job at the same time was really hard to do. I had elevated adrenaline levels for days. To sooth the waves of anxiety that swept over me regularly, I had one picture that I kept looking at. It was a picture of the beautiful forest which I was to move to. That gave me strength to take the steps necessary to get on the trail.

I really hope you’re on your path or taking calculated steps to get there. However big or small it may be.

The entrepreneur plans to post updates once or twice a week to his website, subtitled “the entrepreneurial adventures of a homeless coder living in a tent in the forest.”

About the author

Stan Alcorn is a print, radio and video journalist, regularly reporting for WNYC and NPR. He grew up in New Mexico.