In The Talk Show Live at WWDC 2014, I joked about college not being necessary if you thought you didn’t need it.
Attempts at humor are often missed. In this case, a lot of people missed it, which was my fault. To clarify, I was joking.
Go to college if you’re fortunate enough to have the opportunity. I did, I learned a lot (both academically and socially), and I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world. Not everyone needs college, but you should go if you can.
My philosophy about being a C student and not needing to do 80% of the work should also be taken lightly. That strategy works well if you want to follow a path like mine after college: working for small companies that care less about your GPA, or that you can convince to hire you by other means (showing impressive personal projects, advanced skills, etc.). But my GPA was so bad that no big tech company — not Microsoft, not Apple, not Amazon, and definitely not Google — would even consider hiring me. (I tried.)
I was a C student because I was (and am) a slacker and lacked the self-discipline to do better, not because it’s the smartest path to take. Performing better opens more doors.