top of page
  • Roshan de Jong


I can't afford it now. But not doing it a bad idea. So let's find a solution, a fix, where we borrow now and pay back later. We will need to pay more in the future, but that is the better option.

That is how debt works. And debt makes sense.

Sure we pay back more than we borrow. But we create more value in the long run.

And yes, usually the extra we need to pay back - the interest - stacks over time. As long as you don't pay back the full amount including the extra, you keep paying. If you pay nothing of the extra, you even pay "extra" over the "extra".

Most of us know how (compounding) interest works.

I can't afford it - I don't have the assets - to get it done. So I borrow.

It costs, but as long as you create more value and pay back fast enough for things to not get out of hand, it can make sense.

As long as you pay down on the debt. And as long as the value added outweighs the costs added.

Otherwise, you're making a mess that will hurt you in the long term.

And not just financially.

Because financial debt isn't the only type of debt that exists.

There's technical debt.

When you don't have the assets to do or fix something in a way that makes sense in the long term. So you do it in a way that gets it done now, but will costs to fix in the long term.

This is the domain of hard-coding instead of using variables. Of using duct tape to keep something together. Of not documenting what you did and where it is.

It works - for now. But if you don't clean this up in the future, it's likely to bite you in the ass.

There are times where this makes sense to do.

There's organisational debt.

Where things are organised in a way that was easy, even if it doesn't scale or hold in the long term.

Where agreements aren't clear. Where decision power is centralised, and one person calls all the shots.

Where we built a culture of freedom, with little coordination. Or of micromanagement.

There are times where this makes sense to do. Debt isn't the devil.

There's emotional debt.

Where we treat each other in ways that could be hurtful in the long term, but get things done that need to get done.

Or we treat ourselves this way.

There are times where this makes sense to do. Debt isn't the devil. It just needs to be paid off for it not to become an unruly beast.

So many shapes.

Debt takes all sorts of forms. Where you miss an asset, and substitute it with something more expensive.

The "asset" you might be missing could be cash. Or it might be time, patience, or knowledge. Or the willingness to put in the hard emotional or mental labour of looking for a better solution.

Financial, technical, organisational or emotional. Debt can make sense.

But do pay down on the debt*. And make sure the added value outweighs the added costs.

And for the love of god and sliced bread - please don't borrow if you don't have to.

Where do you have debt outstanding?

Go make things better. And pay off some of that shit.

5 views0 comments
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page