Thankyou Water: from big ideas to bigger impacts

You may think you’re just one person and you can’t make a big difference in the world, but Thankyou Water creator Daniel Flynn is proof the opposite is true.

A visionary entrepreneur, Daniel demonstrates how a simple idea, fuelled by determination and a sense of purpose, can lead to meaningful change in the world.

Daniel created Thankyou Water, a social enterprise dedicated to providing safe water to those in need.

In this TEDx talk, Daniel shares his inspiring journey and presents powerful insights on the power of persistence, the significance of standing out, and the transformative potential of leveraging business for social good.

The top 5 lessons are:

  • The true value of ideas. Daniel Flynn starts his TEDx talk by sharing a profound quote he came across while waiting in the reception area of Boost Juice, one of Australia’s most successful startup stories. The quote, which states that the value of an idea lies in its execution rather than its mere existence, deeply resonated with him and prompted him to reflect on the common perception of ideas as the ultimate driving force behind success.
  • A basic necessity. As a 19-year-old university student, Daniel stumbled upon the shocking statistic that nearly 900 million people worldwide lack access to safe water. While the number itself was difficult to comprehend initially, it was the individual stories of young people spending their entire days collecting water for their families that truly struck a chord within him. He realised the immense privilege and abundance he enjoyed compared to those struggling for the most basic necessity of life.
  • From waste to wow. Inspired by the urgency of the water crisis, Daniel and his friends embarked on a journey to address the issue. They decided to launch Thankyou Water, a social enterprise that would leverage the sale of bottled water to fund water projects for those in need. Their idea was to channel the revenue generated by the booming bottled water industry, which they found to be wasteful and unnecessary, towards a cause that could save lives and transform communities.
  • Resilience is key. The road to realising their vision was filled with numerous hurdles. Daniel and his team had to learn the intricacies of starting a bottled water company, secure significant capital despite their limited resources, and navigate the complexities of the industry. They faced setbacks such as defective product labels and the failure of a supplier to meet their demands, which resulted in product recalls and the loss of a large number of customers.
  • Persistence pays off. However, their unwavering persistence paid off. Thankyou Water gradually gained traction, forming partnerships with major retailers and expanding their network of stockists nationwide. Media support played a pivotal role in promoting their cause, with influential figures and celebrities joining their campaign. Through their collective efforts, they were able to provide safe water to thousands of people in need, paving the way for their subsequent venture, Thankyou Food, which aimed to address food insecurity and contribute to long-term community development projects.

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