What is Domino?

A domino is a small rectangular wooden or plastic block with a line down its center, visually separating it into two squares. The opposite ends of each square are either blank or marked by a number of dots, resembling the spots on dice. These identifying marks, called pips, indicate the value of each domino in a game. The most common set of dominoes has six pips on each end, but many other sets exist, with one for each possible combination of numbers from one to six.

Dominoes are used to play a wide variety of games, most often positioning games. A player in a positional game places a domino with one of its open ends against another, allowing the pips on the adjacent sides to match or form some specified total. The first domino thus triggers a chain reaction that continues to grow until all the pieces have fallen, much like the firing of a nerve impulse in your brain.

When a domino is toppled, it creates a wave of vibration that travels at a consistent speed without losing energy as it moves down the line, just like a nerve impulse in your brain. These waves also move at a constant speed, independent of the size of the triggering domino, and they are only transmitted in one direction. The effect can be powerful, and the speed of falling dominoes has led to several spectacular accidents.

The word domino has other meanings as well, including an informal sense of a long hooded cloak worn together with a mask during carnival season or at a masquerade, and the earlier sense of a piece of playing equipment that contrasted with the priest’s white surplice. Today, the term is most often used to refer to a game played with these rectangular blocks of wood or plastic, which are normally twice as long as they are wide, making them easy to stack and re-stack after use.

Domino is also a verb, referring to the act of creating or causing domino effects. A good domino effect can help you achieve your goals by breaking a larger project into smaller steps. For example, if you’re trying to save money, you may want to work on budgeting and saving habits before working on the bigger goal of setting up an emergency fund.

In the business world, a good domino effect can be seen in a company’s ability to respond quickly to changing customer needs. For example, when Domino’s was faced with a drop in sales and high turnover rates among employees, former CEO David Brandon quickly put into place new policies like a relaxed dress code and leadership training programs. When new CEO Dominic Doyle assumed his role, he continued to promote these values and listened to employees to find out what changes would be most effective in improving the business. As a result, the company has received several Top Workplaces awards and won praise for its innovative approach to employee relations.