"iBall.com CEO Chad Derwent sat alone in his office in
Silicon Valley. Outside his open door, rows of empty, silent
cubicles stretched from one end of the office floor to the other.
"For the last several minutes he had been staring down at the
stack of papers on his desk, unable to deal with the reality of the
title of the one on top: "Petition for Liquidation in Bankruptcy."
He couldn't bear to look up at the picture on the wall where, he
knew, Vinod and he were posed with their first half-dozen
employees. Everyone was smiling, because iBall.com had just gone
live on the Web. Back then, he'd never supposed it would end like
"But it had, and there was nothing to be done about it. Nothing
to be done but pick up his pen and begin to sign the papers in the
stack, one by one."