A few years ago, he started teaching a course at Stanford called “How to Make Ideas Stick.” The premise of the course was that if we understood what made ideas naturally sticky we might be better at making our own messages stick. During the past few years he has taught this topic to a few hundred students bound for careers as managers, public-policy analysts, journalists, designers, and film directors.
To complete the story of the Brothers Heath, in 2004 it dawned on us that we had been approaching the same problem from different angles. Chip had researched and taught what made ideas stick. Dan had tried to figure out pragmatic ways to make ideas stick. Chip had compared the success of different urban legends and stories. Dan had compared the success of different math and government lessons. Chip was the researcher and the teacher. Dan was the practitioner and the writer.