Reminds me of something I learned from doing art. I've often said, "People think I'm a great photographer. Really, I'm a great editor." I only allow the world to see 2-3% of my output. Working with less experienced subjects, they'd often want several versions of the same basic shot, because I took several good ones. Me, I only want the best version to see the light of day.
It seems that people are afraid to "throw away" work, which means they hold on to things they've built (even when they shouldn't) just because they've invested time in them.
But the throwing-away of work is crucial to building something lasting, similar to editing the photos you show to the world. At the very minimum you gain a better understanding of the problem. The thing you keep probably wouldn't be as good without having done the throw-away work.
This also kinda reminds me of the Picasso Principle :
The famous Pablo Picasso was at a party. A woman
recognized him and approached the Master. She asked,
“Will you create a sketch for me?” Picasso agreed,
and, as he pulled out his sketchpad, asked her for a
subject. “A bird in a tree will do,” she responded.
So Picasso spent about a five minutes doing what
Picasso does on the sketchpad. Finished, he ripped the
sketch off the pad, handed it to the woman and said,
“That will be $10,000.” The woman was floored. “Ten
thousand dollars! Why, it only took you five minutes to
draw that sketch!” To which, Picasso replied, “No,
madam. That sketch took me a lifetime.”
Reminds of a joke about a mechanic who charged $500 for hitting something with a hammer. When the customer grumbled, he said he wasn't charging $500 for the blow, but rather for knowing where to hit it.