The Domino Effect

Dominoes are small rectangular blocks that can be stacked on end in long, linear chains. When the first domino is tipped over, it causes all of the other pieces to fall in an elegant and rhythmic cascade. This occurrence gave rise to the expression “domino effect,” which describes any action that can trigger larger consequences.

Lily Hevesh has been fascinated by dominoes for as long as she can remember. She grew up playing with her grandparents’ classic 28-pack, and later started posting videos of her own domino creations online. She now works as a professional domino artist, creating intricate domino setups for movies, TV shows, and events—including the recent album launch for Katy Perry. Hevesh has worked on projects that involve up to 300,000 dominoes and helped set a Guinness World Record for the most dominoes in a circular arrangement.

Her latest video, a stunning demonstration of her domino-chaining skills, has attracted more than 2 million views on YouTube. Hevesh explains that one of the most important factors in creating her large-scale designs is the law of gravity. This force pulls the fallen domino toward the ground, causing it to fall into and knock over the next piece in the chain. Hevesh carefully tests each section of her installations in slow motion, making precise adjustments when needed.

The physics of dominoes also provides insight into the art of building great stories. Hevesh points out that a good story has the same principle as a domino sequence: it’s all about momentum. “You’ve got to be able to build up the tension and then release it in a big way,” she says. This is why she starts her pieces by placing the largest 3-D sections first. Then she adds flat arrangements and finally lines of dominoes that connect them all together.

These insights can be applied to personal life as well. Hevesh suggests that a domino action is any activity you can do to push other interests forward. “You’ve got to find that one thing you can do regularly that will have a positive ripple effect,” she says. “It could be anything from making your bed to exercising.”

Domino Data Lab is an end-to-end Data Science platform that connects agile Data Science exploration with deployment and management of models in production. It integrates with version control systems like Bitbucket to keep track of code changes and allows you to spin up interactive workspaces of different sizes to explore, run jobs, and collaborate. It supports deployment of apps and model apis and is available to self-manage on your own infrastructure or as a fully-managed cloud service.