Estonia: Electronic voting and tax-filing, 99.8% literacy rate, free public transportation, and more
In 2007 it became the first country to allow online voting in a general election. It has among the world’s zippiest broadband speeds and holds the record for start-ups per person. Its 1.3m citizens pay for parking spaces with their mobile phones and have their health records stored in the digital cloud. Filing an annual tax return online, as 95% of Estonians do, takes about five minutes.
They also do a lot of work with public safety. It is a law in Estonia that mandates having safety reflectors whether you are biking or even walking so that people can see you. You can be fined a decent amount if you don't follow this law.
Finland is famous across the globe for its education system. They focus on co-operation (vs competition) as well as reducing the amount of time children and teachers spend inside the classroom, so that children have time to explore and play, and teachers have more time to do the important outside-the-classroom work.
I went through a bunch of videos and articles covering the Finnish education system, here are the best ones.
Let's face it: Mobile phone carriers kind of suck. ... by and large, carriers are right up there with airlines in terms of the levels of warm-and-fuzzy feelings they inspire (not to mention the number of absurd surcharges they tack on at every possible turn). ... So what if there were a better way -- a carrier that'd cut all the crap and just give you good service at a reasonable rate, without any annoying asterisks?
I switched from AT&T to Project Fi almost a year ago now. My average bill is $30 instead of $60+. Ordering the SIM was about 30 seconds on the Project Fi website, and the phone worked when I was visiting family in India! Catch is, Project Fi supports only a few devices.
I've been using TransferWise for the past one year for transferring money to my family. Their rates are competitive, the product is really smooth, and there are never any hidden fees. It is one of the very few financial products that I really love.
I got to know about TransferWise while listening to a a16z podcast. Its pretty cool, check it out!