Oh, tech debt discussions on HN. I vehemently dislike the metaphor because it encourages the wrong behaviors by people managing a roadmap (because debt can be a good thing when used as an effective tool). I prefer to think of shortcuts and bad practices as tech pollution. A little bit will make your environment less nice, but tolerable. Letting it go unchecked to maximize production and profit will result in an environment incapable of supporting a healthy ecosystem. Frequently the cost of cleaning up pollution is treated as an externality as well. In software development this is developers working extra time of their own accord because they never get the cleanup prioritized on the roadmap.