I’m certainly not the first to cover Pittsburgh’s big break in the Economy section of the NYT (in fact I might be the last). That’s ok though, because my reflection is going to be a little bit different. I thought the piece was great publicity for Pittsburgh, but only fluff as far as an “economics” piece goes. Maybe I’ve just spent too much time researching the Burgh, but summarizing the Pittsburgh Renaissance as a, “development plan begun in the 1980s [that] successfully used the local universities to pour state funds into technology research” seems a little short of reality, there was a lot more to it. Then sumarizing its results as “Entrepreneurship bloomed in computer software and biotechnology” is definitely a bit much. I seem to recall some recent criticism of the entrepreneurship scene and has anyone else noticed that Pittsburgh’s own Meakem Becker doesn’t have a single Pittsburgh company in its portfolio? A more realistic picture of the economic resurgance likely is that we bottomed out a couple years back and now have nowhere to go but up. That doesn’t paint the picture of a quaint midwestern town (which, don’t kid yourself, is how New Yorkers see us) that sells newspapers.
What’s more interesting has been the fallout. Several interesting little tidbits have fallen out of the NYT’s recent interest in Pittsburgh.