Put simply this is focusing on content of the site and not using link building to help with the search. For this to work however you will need a lot of content exposure and time! The links will not appear over night. Search algorithms will take in a large number of factors to be able to rank pages. If we think of it like this;
Keywords + Content Quality + Domain Authority + Page Level Authority + User & Usage Data + Spam Analysis = the pages ranking element
The algorithm takes a combination of these factors to be able to rank the page, the issue is it is near impossible to rank highly for any competitive terms without the use of Domain Authority and Page Level Authority.
This strategy basically Ignores link building and waits to let links come to them. This is done by just focusing on the product quality, press and public relations, offline media, content strategy, email marketing, advertising, Social Media and word of mouth. Essentially all discovery mechanisms that are not search. It relies on people finding the site through these other channels.
When people get to the site, it is because of the user experience and the quality of the content or products. Due to these all being so good, the site will earn links naturally. This is due to the fact there are so many things you can do to push pages into this link earning direction. But by ignoring the link building and focusing on the rest of the ranking elements the page is able to, over time, rank high for competitive searches. People who visit these sites lead to links and eventually lead to Domain Authority & Page Level Authority ranking ability.
This is a very idealistic way of looking at search and the web altogether. Instead of people going out and deliberately manipulating the webs link graft they would actually let the sites earn the links naturally.
So yes! This is possible, this strategy does have potential if you struggle with link building and you feel you can optimise the other processes. This will take time and a lot of content exposure; it is basically sitting back and waiting. However imagine the possibilities of combining great content, user and usage data, keywords and spam analysis with the link building of Domain Authority and Page Level Authority!