That has got to be the best reason to stay in academia. The meetings where it is just you and a bunch of really smart people thinking about tackling a new project, coming up with cool ideas, and dreaming about how you can really change the way the world works are so much fun.
There is no part of a research job that is better as far as I’m concerned. It is always downhill after that, you start running into pebbles, your code doesn’t work, or your paper gets rejected. But that first blissful planning meeting always seems so full of potential.
Just had a great one like that and am full of optimism.