But sometimes skating ahead is riskier, and sometimes you just misjudge where that pesky puck is going to be. The 2013 Mac Pro is a clear example of Apple seeing where they thought the puck would be, but completely missing the mark. They gambled on external Thunderbolt-connected GPUs and other hardware to be a bigger deal than it ended up being. They foresaw a future where software would talk more advantage of multiple GPUs, meanwhile the rest of the industry got really good at making extremely fast single GPUs.
Whether the puck was going somewhere else and Apple was blind, or the puck got deflected and changed course in 2014-2015 is irrelevant, and frankly stretches the metaphor a bit. Apple missed the mark on this one, and their professional users have felt the pain.
Judging by the comments from Schiller and Federighi, it seems clear Apple misplayed the puck.