After four years, their biggest client, because their promised second round of funding didn’t materialize, went out of business. As a result, they weren’t able to pay a huge sum of money they owed — for work already completed. As an evergreen idealist, Naphtali was shocked and clearly disappointed, but knew that within a year or so, they could recover. But, within a week of that happening, all of their other, smaller yet consistent and substantive clients, called and told them that “because of the economy” (it was just before 9/11/2001), they were “reevaluating”, and as a result, had no more projects to issue. It was at that point that Naphtali “knew” that the business was no longer viable.
With no money in the company bank account and payroll of $40,000 due in 2 days, it was clearly time to shutter the doors. Naphtali summoned the team (10 people at the time) to the conference room, and with tears, told them that he loved them, that they'd had a great run, but it was time to go home. There was no other option. He told them that their paychecks wouldn’t be forthcoming and that that their health insurance and other benefits were canceled, effective immediately. He offered to help them find new work (which was tough at the time) and that he hoped they'd stay close-knit, but there was just no more viability for the company.