Domino is a game or series of games in which players set up dominoes on a flat surface, and then flip one over to start the chain reaction that causes the rest to fall. It’s a fun and engaging way to learn about physics, history, math, and strategy.
When people think of domino, they often imagine the classic 28-piece set, where you can create a straight or curved line and then flick the first domino just right so that it sets off a cascade of rhythmic movement. Lily Hevesh, who started playing with her grandparents’ set at the age of 9, is now a professional domino artist who has more than 2 million YouTube subscribers who follow her to watch her amazing setups. She can design tracks that form pictures or letters, stacked walls of dominoes, or even 3D structures like towers and pyramids.
The term domino is also used to describe any action that triggers a similar effect, whether it’s someone smacking their elbow into someone else’s back, or a company changing its corporate culture to focus more on employee satisfaction. Domino’s Pizza is a great example of this concept, because their founder, Tom Monaghan, emphasized placing stores near college campuses to appeal to a young, hungry audience who wanted pizza quickly. This strategy paid off and helped the company expand quickly.
While the most popular domino game involves setting up a chain of tiles that are each topped with either matching numbers or some type of total, there are also many other types of games that use the same principle. In these, the players take turns placing a domino edge to edge against another, so that the adjacent faces match in number or in some other way, such as a specific total or the edges of the two dominoes are touching (or “locked”).
A single domino has only one side with a number of spots called pips, but many sets are made out of different materials with contrasting pips for color and style. For example, traditional European dominoes were often made of silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, or a dark hardwood such as ebony, with black or white pips. Some modern dominoes are made out of plastic, but they have the same basic structure as wooden or metal pieces.
Aside from the fun and entertainment of dominoes, they can teach us a lot about how to set up our own lives and businesses for success. A key element is listening to feedback and acting on it, rather than ignoring or dismissing it. For instance, when Domino’s employees complained about a corporate culture that focused too much on profits over morale, the company responded immediately by introducing new programs and training that emphasized staff satisfaction. It’s a small but important shift that made a huge difference to the company’s bottom line, and to the lives of its employees.