The Domino Effect in Business and Storytelling


A domino is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic with one face bearing an arrangement of dots resembling those on dice and the other blank or marked with identifying marks. A set of these pieces, usually 28 in number, is used to play a variety of games. The word is also used as a metaphor for a chain reaction or an event that sets off a series of events with little or no intervention.

In business, a company that is seen to be setting trends or leading the way in an industry is often referred to as the “domino.” Domino’s CEO and co-founder Dave Doyle is widely considered to be a master of this concept. His domino strategy has helped the company to overcome a series of challenges and remain a top food delivery service in the country.

For Domino’s to succeed, it needed to make a few changes. In the early 1990s, Domino’s was losing market share and revenue to competing pizza chains. The company was in danger of becoming a “dinosaur,” as Doyle put it, and the company needed to reinvent itself. He began by introducing new products and bringing in innovative marketing.

Next, Doyle decided to expand the company into international markets. This required a great deal of research and development, but it was worth the investment. In just a few years, Domino’s had more than doubled its global presence. The company is now a worldwide powerhouse with more than 7,000 stores in over 30 countries.

After establishing a global footprint, Domino’s began to innovate in its retail and delivery systems. It partnered with crowd-sourced auto designers to create a customized Domino’s delivery vehicle—an SUV with enough space to carry 80 pizzas. The company also started offering its products online and through third-party delivery services.

Domino’s success demonstrates how a domino effect can be applied to business and storytelling. Whether you compose your manuscript off the cuff or use a detailed outline, it is important to consider how each scene logically connects with the scenes that come before it. Domino theory can help you to plot your story in a compelling manner.

When Hevesh first began to collect dominoes, she was only 10 years old. By the time she was 20, she had a successful YouTube channel where she displayed her intricate domino art. She has worked on projects involving hundreds of thousands of dominoes and has even set the Guinness World Record for the most dominoes toppled in a circular configuration. Her largest installations take several nail-biting minutes to set up, and they can weigh more than 100 pounds. However, once the dominoes are in place, they only require a gentle nudge to begin the chain reaction that will ultimately take them down. The domino effect can be astonishing to witness.