|Quoted from [Robber Barons understand technical debt too||Robert Heaton](http://robertheaton.com/2015/09/21/robber-barons-understand-technical-debt-too/):|
What is technical debt?
In the best case, technical debt is a deliberate deficiency in your system that you knowingly take on in order to get a feature shipped faster. In the worst case, it is a critical component that you design, write and ship in 4 minutes whilst really super-duper high on a particularly potent brand of Australian glue. In either case, the debt grates away on you and your team and constantly demands “interest” in the form of monkey-patched hotfixes and increased development time. You may one day decide to “pay it off” and refactor away your prudent-tradeoff/hallucinogen-induced-whimsy.
When would you incur technical debt?
“The philosophy was simple - and very different from the approach that prevailed in Europe: get the track laid and the locomotives built, and start running trains as quickly as possible to start generating income, even if that means cutting corners that push up operating costs.”
So, it’s a necessary operational step sometimes (like credit cards), but don’t let it get out of control, lest you find yourself “paying interest” for years to come!
But be careful. Even when you’re not directly responsible for thousands of 19th century lives, there are some corners that you cannot afford to cut.