Most of what I spent time on last year didn't end up succeeding. In that respect I failed. Yet in the process I learned far more about how to prevent problems in future than I could have thought up beforehand. Expanding knowledge of development and starting University have also helped grow my knowledge substantially.
In the long run 2011 is merely a precursor to plans for this year: launching startups I actually care for and spending the summer in San Francisco. It's certainly been a momentous year for the world though.
The Arab Spring has deposed dictators yet may cause no lasting change1. Flooding, Earthquakes and Nuclear incidents have dominated the headlines. The War on Terror continues to achieve little good2. Government powers continue to expand3 whilst stagnant industries fight to maintain the status quo. The Eurozone looks set to collapse4. Little is being done about underlying debt problems5 despite growing public anger.
Yet in other ways it's been a good year. That the Arab Spring happened raises hopes for long-term improvement throughout Africa & the Middle East. A variety of scientific discoveries and results continue to be made.
Computer storage continues to move forwards with progress on commercial use of memristors6. We're discovering numerous planets throughout the Galaxy. We'll soon get to see the area where our Supermassive Black Hole is7. Progress continues towards a more agile space industry that could begin the colonisation of the Solar System.
2011 may not be missed, but it's certainly not been an absolute disaster of a year.
-  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15908318
-  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16297707
-  http://edition.cnn.com/2011/12/31/politics/obama-defense-bill/index.html
-  http://edition.cnn.com/2012/01/01/business/eu-tough-year-2012/
-  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-21/supercommittee-fails-to-reach-agreement-on-1-2-trillion-deficit-reduction.html
-  http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/12/111214-supermassive-black-hole-eat-gas-cloud-max-planck-space-science/
-  http://www.electronicsweekly.com/Articles/06/10/2011/51988/ief2011-hp-to-replace-flash-and-ssd-in-2013.htm