Moving forward, we must avoid the temptation to pick the "one approach that works best." The reality is, you have to do a lot of things well. One of the strengths of Pittsburgh is that we have not put all of our eggs in one basket. The failed efforts to consolidate economic development has left us with a dynamic and flexible eco-system akin to a cloud-sourcing network for entrepreneurial support.
Times have really changed around here when this sort of thing - which I entirely agree with - has become not only the conventional wisdom, but the conventional wisdom that someone other than a pointy-headed academic is willing to say publicly. I wrote essentially the same thing way back in 2005 -- here, in the Post-Gazette, which was a modestly edited version of something that appeared first on the blog.
Five years ago, that PG op-ed attracted a lot of interest from people in town, movers and shakers, investors and economic development leaders, entrepeneurs and innovators -- who said to me, just about to a person, "thank you for saying what I can't say publicly myself, but what needed to be said."
If it can be said publicly now -- can it? -- then Pittsburgh has indeed made progress.