The Domino Effect

Domino (also known as dominoes or domino pieces) are small rectangular blocks of wood or plastic, normally with a square face, that feature either blank spaces or ones marked with dots like those on dice. They are usually twice as long as they are wide and have a value, which is indicated by one or more dots on each end of the domino, ranging from six pips to none at all, printed on them. The sum of the values on both ends of a domino is its rank, and two dominoes may be considered to match if they have the same value.

Dominoes are used for a variety of games, mostly positional and blocking games, in which dominoes are placed edge to edge against each other in a line. When a domino is played, it establishes a new “cross” of adjacent dominoes that can be played upon. Unlike the draw game, in which dominoes are drawn randomly to form a chain of matching pairs, positional games require that a player place each new tile adjacent to an existing domino so that it becomes part of a new cross or line of dominoes.

While many people play dominoes in their spare time, others have made careers out of domino art, creating complex lines of curved or straight dominoes, stacked walls and 3D structures such as towers and pyramids. Some of the most elaborate domino setups are done for movies, TV shows and events such as an album launch for pop star Katy Perry.

Lily Hevesh, 20, has been making domino art since she was 9 years old. Her YouTube channel, Hevesh5, has more than 2 million subscribers and features videos of her creating spectacular domino chains in a variety of shapes and sizes. Hevesh designs each section of a domino track, then test-flicks it in slow motion to ensure it works correctly before moving on to the next one.

The term domino effect is also used figuratively to refer to any cascade of effects that result from an initial action. For example, if our child’s soccer team wins against their biggest rival, this creates a domino effect of goodwill that can have lasting benefits for the entire community. Similarly, the domino effect can be seen in personal and business growth, where small changes lead to larger impacts.

For example, if a person begins to make their bed each morning, they might start forming identity-based habits, such as taking pride in their appearance and maintaining a clean home. These habits then influence their choices and actions, ultimately affecting other parts of their lives.

The term “domino” is also used in computer science and data analysis to describe the phenomenon of a cascading sequence of events, such as an automated script running through its steps without human intervention. While tools that facilitate best practices in software engineering have matured, those for data analysis have yet to do so. As a result, teams often find themselves awkwardly grafting tools from software engineering onto their workflows or accepting inefficient processes. Domino fills the gaps in these analytical tools, helping teams achieve more efficient and effective data analysis.