Byline: Felicia Morton
On the 36th floor of the Playboy Building in downtown Chicago, Michael Ferro, CEO of Click Commerce, contemplated why the high-tech economy has not taken off in his town.
The impressively old-school office, with its lofty ceilings, chandeliers, fireplace and a view of the John Hancock Building, isn't the kind of place one would expect to find the 34-year-old CEO of an Internet software development firm. But the surroundings match Ferro's role as a seasoned and influential technology leader.
In fact, he sat down with "The Upload" after returning from a meeting of Mayor Richard Daley's new Council of Technology Advisors where he volunteers as a board member, offering advice to Chicago politicos on how to solve the city's high-tech woes.
Ferro acknowledged that Chicago has had its share of problems in developing a viable high-tech community, but he was optimistic about its future.
"At the end of the day, when the dust settles, I'm going to bet that a lot more high-tech firms have succeeded here than you think," he said. "This is still a bigger economy than Austin, …