The Domino Effect


Dominoes are small rectangular blocks that are used as gaming pieces. Each domino has a line dividing its face into two square ends that are marked with a number of spots or blank. The backs of the dominoes in a set are indistinguishable, either blank or having some common design. When one of these dominoes is knocked over, it triggers a chain reaction that can continue to topple other dominoes and so on. The resulting cascade is often called the Domino Effect, and it can have many real-world applications.

To play a game of domino, the players first need to draw a tile from the stock (see “Order of Play” below). The player who draws the heaviest double makes the first play. The remainder of the tiles in the stock are left face down, and, depending on the rules of the game being played, may be bought (See “Passing and Byeing” below) later in the game.

The game is generally played on a table. A line of dominoes is formed as the players make their plays, which are usually made by matching the pips on the open end of the domino with those on the adjacent dominoes in the line of play. A game can be played with either a crosswise or lengthwise line of play, depending on whether the dominoes are all doubles or all singles.

A man who can’t do arithmetic recalls that in college he was forced to take a math class with a professor who used a technique that reminded him of a Domino’s pizza, ordering dominoes with his tongue. The professor’s method, a form of mental arithmetic, enabled him to pass the course and graduate with good grades.

In business, the Domino Effect refers to an ongoing series of events that lead to success, as if the initial actions of one person or group cause a ripple effect that brings about positive results. For example, if your soccer team wins against its biggest rivals, this can create a domino effect that will bring them to the state playoffs. The physics of the Domino Effect is similar to that of firing neurons in your brain: the energy of the pulse moves at a constant speed without losing energy, and it travels only one way, from the starting point to the end of the axon.

A good domino is a task that contributes to a larger goal, such as writing a novel or building a house. If you’re able to break down this bigger goal into several good dominoes, it will be easier for you to complete those tasks since they won’t seem as daunting. For instance, you might consider writing your novel in a series of good dominoes, such as creating a plot outline, drafting the manuscript, and editing the final draft. If each of these good dominoes is completed successfully, you can move forward with your goal. Good dominoes are also referred to as milestones, or stepping stones, that lead you to the finish line.