The word domino may conjure up thoughts of the popular game, or the business empire that shares its name. But it also refers to a much more subtle phenomenon: the idea that one change can activate a chain reaction that shifts other behaviors. Whether you write your novel off the cuff or use a carefully crafted outline, plotting your story with a domino effect in mind can help you keep readers engaged.
Dominoes, or dominoes, are small rectangular blocks of wood, bone, or plastic used as gaming objects. They feature a series of alternating black and white pips, or dots, that correspond to the spots on dice. Some have blank ends; others have one, two, or six pips or dots, and a total of 28 unique pieces comprise a full set.
A wide variety of games can be played with a domino set, including the simplest, a two-player game known as Draw and Flop, in which players place a tile on an edge or corner to start a line of play. In a game such as Five-Up, a player draws seven tiles from the stock (the “boneyard”), each of which must be placed on an adjoining tile to form a line.
In the early years of the Domino’s Pizza franchise, the company had a few key strategies that helped it grow from a single pizzeria in Ypsilanti to more than 200 locations by 1978. For example, founder Tom Monaghan made sure to focus on putting the chain’s stores near college campuses. This gave the company a strong foothold among young people, who liked to get their pizza quickly.
As the Domino’s brand grew, CEO Steve Doyle sought to modernize the company by changing its image and opening new locations in nontraditional places. He also emphasized the importance of listening to employees, which led to changes such as a relaxed dress code and leadership training programs. He also created a college recruiting system to attract top talent.
Another part of the Domino’s strategy is to invest in technology that improves efficiency and customer service. The company uses software analytics to track trends, such as how many orders come in at a certain time of day. It then adjusts staffing levels accordingly. This information also helps Domino’s create and test new delivery technologies, such as drones and pizza-delivery cars.
A physicist who works with dominoes says that a fundamental physical principle is at work when a domino is knocked over. When a domino is standing upright, it has potential energy; as it falls, the energy is converted to kinetic energy that causes the next domino to fall.
While Domino’s strategy has been effective, it is not foolproof. The company faces a number of challenges, such as increasing competition from rivals who offer faster delivery times and better quality pizza. Its growth depends on its ability to adapt its strategy and stay relevant in a rapidly evolving industry. Fortunately, the company has shown it can make changes fast.