Excellent analogy… waterfalls to whirlpools…nice!
However, I do think it is worth mentioning that to get to the promised land you speak of, we have to get good at not having defect escapees, and our releases have to be smooth, repeatable and painless. We have to get good at the “blocking and tackling”. However, that is not a destination… that is the basics you need to play the game.
Once that stuff is rolling (which is a hell of a task that most teams never achieve), then I think you are absolutely correct.
Instead of celebrating the lack of defect escapees and good releases, we need to be celebrating the impact that we are having on real people.