Father Knows Best: The Story of an Inventor

They say necessity is the mother of invention. In at least one notable case, it served as motivation for a resourceful father as well.

After the birth of his first child in 2000, inventor and entrepreneur Mark Rosenzweig was inspired to find a better way to clean up the inevitable messes of parenthood. His quest led to the introduction of some of the most innovative devices in the home-cleaning industry and the building of Shark Euro-Pro, a $350 million company.

"The idea behind Shark's line of appliances is to provide a practical and effective solution to life's real messes - like the soggy food that ends up on the floor during feeding," said Rosenzweig. "A vacuum cleaner uses the force of suction power to pull dirt through a narrow passageway and deposit it into a bag or dust cup. Most likely, trying to pick up soggy food or other such messes would lead to a blockage."

Designed to pick up what vacuum cleaners can't, the Shark Cordless Professional Sweeper uses a unique brush roll system to pick up dirt and debris and deposit it into a dirt tray for easy disposal. The lightweight sweeper works on carpets and floors and operates for up to 80 minutes on a single charge.

Before bringing the Sweeper technology to market, Rosenzweig introduced the Shark steam-cleaning line. Already a popular technology in Europe, the Shark Steam Bottle is an all-natural way to clean, sanitize and deodorize the house.

"Steam cleaning lets you get the house clean without exposing yourself and your loved ones to potentially dangerous chemicals," Rosenzweig said.

Tapping a marketing concept still in its infancy, Rosenzweig turned to infomercials to spread the word about his inventions. After appearing regularly on the Home Shopping Network, sales of Rosenzweig's products soared, inspiring him to expand his offerings to include other household products.

The current Shark Euro-Pro line includes everything from vacuums, cordless sweepers, handvacs and steam cleaners to irons, fryers and slow cookers. This line of products is available in major retailers like Target, Sears, Lowe's, Linens 'n Things and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

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