There are always valuable lessons to be learned from failures – and boy has 2011 been a pedagogic year for some tech companies. Sony, for example, has no doubt learned about the importance of securing its network infrastructure, especially when it holds the information of millions of customers. And in the event that something goes wrong again they now know it's better to come clean sooner rather than later.

Netflix and HP probably learned a thing or two about about communicating with their customers as well. The first tried and failed to split its business in two, and announced a 60% price increase for streaming and DVD-by-mail customers, while HP alienated partners and shook customer confidence when it announced it was halting its webOS projects and possibly exiting the consumer PC market.

We could go on for a while listing Research In Motion's recent mishaps, or the back and forth patent battles in the mobile sector headed by Apple versus Samsung and Microsoft versus every Android manufacturer. Some were also dissapointed by the iPhone 5's no-show – though the 4S is a huge sales success – and in general 2011 was something of a failure for any tablet manufacturer that wasn't Apple and maybe Amazon.

What about Google's Chromebooks? Was the decade long wait for Duke Nukem Forever worth it? Cast your vote in the poll below and let us know about the tech failures we missed in the comments.

Fail stamp image from Shutterstock