Talk to some people about Birmingham and they think it's great; they comment on how it has improved over the years.
Developments like the International Convention Centre, Brindleyplace and the Bullring are comparable with anywhere else in the UK.
Talk to to others, and there is widespread hand-wringing about the city's failures and what it really should be like.
Is it really the Second City when Manchester holds the Commonwealth Games and Liverpool scoops the Capital of Culture prize Does Birmingham really want to be the second city at all anyway - with the label itself denoting some sort of second bestism and acknowledgement it can't really compete?
Firstly I must declare my hand; I'm not from Birmingham, but it is the sixth city I've lived in and none of the others have been so bereft of self confidence.
Birmingham seems to be chronically concerned with how others view it, and has descended into inward looking naval gazing.
Meanwhile hundreds and hundreds of hours have been expended on what the city should do next.
Perhaps part of the problem has been too many chiefs and not enough Indians - people like to talk the talk, but aren't always prepared to do something about it.
Amid all this endless chatter about (delete as applicable) the airport, New Street, the metro, the cultural mix, wealth creation, nothing much has been done.
Now comes the latest vision for the city.
Although it was very early days, the objectives of the "vision thing" include sorting out the physical environment, boosting the business city and improving its educational and skills performance.
Take improving skills and matching them to the needs of the business - nobody is going to argue with that and isn't it a waste of breath just to state the blinding obvious?
But now in a change to previous schemes, actual plans have been drawn up to get a result.
The city's three university's are going to be contacted to see how they can all work together it might ultimately lead to a combined business school, it might not.
Another project will be something termed One Voice where the business community sings from the same hymn sheet.
Obviously this is going to be easier said than done with the various bodies clamouring away in the background, but if it results in more action less chat then it has to be a good thing.
Decide on a few key priorities and then hammer on about them till they get done has to beat the current scattergun approach. Blimey, even some deadlines have been set with Jerry Blackett saying: "If we have not done something in three months then we might as well pack up."
The meeting heard how Birmingham has similarities with Singapore - diverse population, manufacturing legacy.
The only problem is is that Singapore for years has been a benign dictatorship.
So maybe the vision thing should be given time to work in Birmingham - but results are needed quickly.