Wireless networking has been a major success story of engineering, and as a field of research, its future continues to be even brighter than its past. The field will need many breakthroughs, by the whole research eco-system, to achieve the grand vision of next-generation networks. Thus, it is important to accelerate the research eco-system while ensuring three R's of the scientific research: repeatability, replicability, and reproducibility. In the first part of our talk, we reflect on our (personal) journey in developing and disseminating open-source wireless research platforms, and how flexible platforms have shaped what research questions we can pose. Both successes and shortcomings from the past are at the heart of our next major step: the POWDER-RENEW platform, designed to be the world's first open platform for next-generation massive-MIMO wireless research, with an emphasis to empower the 3R's for wireless research. In the second part of our talk, we reflect on our recent experimental research results in massive MIMO, to appreciate how flexible platforms can lead to novel research insights, and potentially shape the future wireless research and standards.