This week, I pumped the brakes on an idea I’ve been working on for a few weeks now. When I started, I knew what I was working on was complicated, but the further I got into the work, the more I realized just how difficult it really was. I’m not one to give up, so I kept pressing on. While working on the idea this week, I paused. Finishing was possible, but to get there was going to take a lot more time and effort.

I stopped because the end result is still an unknown. I’m taking a guess on what will happen and it became clear that investing the additional time to finish could mean a serious hit in time, and ultimately, money. To save face, I decided to spend the rest of the week thinking about the best foot forward.

The solution was clear and one of my favorite answers to tough problems: simplify. I was expecting too much to happen in too short a time. What I failed to realize at first was that while I had the technical aptitude to produce the result I was after, I didn’t have the time or the financial resources to do it. In short I had the developer version of beer goggles.

Instead of thinking about the problem from the business side of things (wisely using resources), I thought about what would be fun to achieve. While the latter is important—why build something if you’re not going to enjoy the process—it’s important to balance that desire with reality. If you know what you’re doing is complicated, it’s worth asking “what would the simpler version of this look like?”

This is the question I asked and I’ve already started work on the answer. Instead of trying to appease my inner nerd, I’ve decided to reel back a bit. Not only is the new direction more cost effective and time saving, it also means that supporting it after the fact will be a lot less taxing.

The savings are across the board: time, money, and effort. While I’m sure there’s another version of this story with a happy geek at the end, now, there’s likely to be an even happier business owner. I’ll take the trade-off.