Thanks for writing this post, and I agree with a lot of it! Regarding the point about poor feedback loops, could the signals below be evidence that things are going well?
Fully agree! Our university group uses a virtual assistant for ~20 hours/month, which saves us ~10 hours/month (it does take some time to explain stuff, and our assistant takes slightly longer to do the same tasks). I expect our time savings to increase substantially when classes resume and our group is a lot more active.
For people who travel frequently, a lot of the travel experience can be optimized.
If you or anyone else is interested in trying some rare Chinese tofus and are in London, I can take you on a tour.
The best tofu tours are by George, of course, but in his absence I try to get the same rare tofus and provide some (small) fraction of the context he does when he leads tofu tours.