Behind The Scenes

<b>Associate Producer Shawn Efran</b> Observes

In working on this story, CBS News Associate Producer Shawn Efran spent a lot of time with Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos - and got to see some surprising aspects of the billionaire Web retailer. Here are some of his recollections:

Ask 35-year-old billionaire Bezos to describe himself and he says that he's "nerdy." Ask him to describe his family and he says that he, his brother and his father are downright "goofy."

"You won't believe this," he says, "but we pretend to be Navy SEALs. We have those little mobile, talk-about radios and we have the little ear pieces and the lapel microphones. Even something as simple as going to pick up a quart of milk at the grocery store we'll turn into a Navy SEAL operation....It's very very goofy."

After seeing Bezos's office, it's not hard to believe. The room is cluttered with toys. A yellow rubber duck sits on the computer. LEGOs lie in the corner. His dry cleaning hangs on an exposed bar along one wall, opposite a lone decoration - a spray-painted sign that reads "Amazon.com."

The office looks more like a teen-ager's bedroom than ground zero in a retailing revolution. But from behind his desk made of scrap wood, this goofy CEO has built one of the fastest-growing companies in history and has his more traditional competitors, the ones with real offices, wondering what business miracle he'll perform next.

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Written by Shawn Efran;
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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