Amy Hoy writes about master craftsmen and being accountable to your real customers:
“When you live and work in an insulated life — divorced from the end result of your work — you are spoiled. You’re graded more on your ability to please and manage gatekeepers than your work product. Gatekeepers are human; humans can be persuaded to accept excuses.”
Just enough separation from customers is healthy — email and tweets, instead of phone calls. But put up too many walls, too much bureaucracy, and you might no longer care who you’re building the software for. You might forget why it has to be great.