The Art of Domino

Dominoes are rectangular pieces of wood or pressed clay with an arrangement of dots or pips on one side and blank or identically patterned on the other. They are used to play positional games, in which dominoes are placed edge to edge against each other to form lines or totals. Each domino has a unique number, or pip count, that is used to identify it. A player wins the game by placing a domino so that when it falls, the next domino in line will either match it (e.g., 5 to 5) or form some other specified total.

Domino is also the name of a popular board game, a set of playing cards and other devices that create patterns on surfaces. These devices are also used in Rube Goldberg machines, which are constructed to perform a sequence of tasks using mechanical or electrical means.

The origin of the word “domino” is unclear, but it may have come from the Latin domine, meaning master of the house, or from the French phrase, “Dominique,” which was a name for a hooded cloak worn with a mask at carnival season or at a masquerade. Domino pieces were once made of ebony blacks and ivory faces, so the name evoked the image of a priest’s domino contrasting with his white surplice.

When Hevesh creates one of her mind-blowing domino setups, she follows a version of the engineering-design process. First, she considers the theme or purpose of an installation. Then, she brainstorms images or words that she might want to use in the design. After that, she considers the materials she’ll need. Finally, she begins to lay out the dominoes in a pattern.

As a rule, Hevesh’s setups are difficult to knock over. This is because each domino has inertia, which causes it to resist motion unless an outside force pushes or pulls on it. But if a domino is near its tipping point, all it takes is a little nudge for the whole pile to topple over.

In the business world, it’s important to keep in mind that a single event or setback can have an enormous domino effect. For example, a car crash can lead to a serious injury that leads to a job loss, which then makes it harder to pay the bills, which ultimately triggers a financial crisis.

Keeping in mind the Domino Principle can help you avoid such problems by paying attention to customer complaints and addressing them quickly. Domino’s CEO, Brandon Doyle, exemplified this principle when he implemented new policies after a Detroit Free Press survey found that the company’s employees weren’t satisfied with their jobs. He followed up with a line of communication that gave workers a chance to express their concerns and helped them find solutions they could live with. This approach was consistent with Domino’s core values, including “champion our customers.” It was a successful strategy that benefited both employees and the company.