The True Cost of a Feature-Kill your darlings

TL;DR: the true cost of a software feature includes a long tail of operational and maintenance cost that should be taken into consideration when first implementing the feature. The continuance or deprecation of features should be evaluated periodically, based on the actual usage and true value of the feature — compared to the cost of continuing it or killing it off.

What is the cost of having a child? This is a weird, perhaps impertinent of even unethical question. The comparison I want to make is that the cost of the initial conception or even the…