Domino Is More Powerful Than You Think

Domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic, marked by dots resembling those on dice. A game is played with a set of these blocks, generally 28 in number, that are stacked on one another and the ends of which may be touching or touching at right angles. A player places a domino onto the table so that one end is touching a neighboring piece, then plays additional pieces to increase the length of the chain. The game is won when a player has a domino with a number showing at both ends. The term domino is also used for other similar gaming devices such as marbles or a board game called backgammon.

A domino chain is far more powerful than you might think. In a video made by University of Toronto physics professor Stephen Morris, he shows how 13 dominoes can knock over objects about one-and-a-half times their size. The key, he says, is that the first domino has potential energy, or stored energy based on its position. As soon as it’s tipped forward, much of that energy converts to kinetic energy, or the energy of motion, and that push is passed on to each successive domino until they all topple over.

Physicists have demonstrated this phenomenon in the past, but Morris’ video is the most thorough to date. In addition to being clear, the demonstration makes the point that it doesn’t take much for a domino to tip over. The first tiny domino only has to be tipped slightly before the force of gravity takes over and the rest is history.

The same is true for stories. In a good story, each scene should move the hero either closer to or farther away from the goal, but it’s crucial that the scenes are well spaced. If you have too many scenes that don’t advance the plot, readers will lose interest. Conversely, if you are a pantser (that is, you don’t make detailed outlines of your plot beforehand), you may end up with scenes that are too long and don’t have enough impact on the scene before them.

Domino’s Pizza seems to have a solid leadership structure, at least according to the latest episode of CBS’s Undercover Boss, which follows CEO Don Meij as he goes undercover at several of Domino’s restaurants and delivery services. He finds that the company’s employees are dedicated to their work and treat customers with respect, a sentiment that is echoed by their managers. The company is continuing to innovate, including a new way for customers to order pizza by texting an emoji or using Amazon Echo devices. These developments demonstrate how a company can build on its strengths while improving the customer experience. Domino’s is also embracing behavioral theory, which emphasizes leaders who are made rather than born. Hopefully, this new approach will continue to pay off. The company’s stock price has climbed more than 30 percent since its low point in late 2016. Its current market cap is $1.5 billion.

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