Yeah, with GOG I don't have apps phoning home.
I begrudgingly have bought a thing or two from Steam, but I have sync disabled for a number of reasons. There are too many cases when a game comes out with a new patch that ends up breaking some feature I liked, so staying with an 'older' version until everyone else gives the 'all clear' via a lack of 'game is now broken' posts is something I do. Also, with a 5GB data cap a month, well I have to preplan my downloads...
Heck, I went straight from 1.3 to 1.6 on LH, and at least TRIED to purchase the LH DLCs through Stardock (still had to go to Steam to enter the product codes though).
One of the more recent LH annoyances we've seen posted is where a person's custom factions get uploaded to the cloud if you 'sync', so trying to delete those factions requires a few hoops. Since it appears that there is a 24 faction or so display cap on Sovs (with Stardock adding 10 new Sovs in the latest DLC), well this becomes more important.
So while I begrudgingly support LH through Steam, if Stardock released a GOG only version, I'd be doing my LH purchases through GOG in a heartbeat! Plus, there are some classics that I still haven't grabbed/would like to replace, so I'll be getting those through GOG when the time comes. And as noted above, a number of new releases have had day 1 availabilty through GOG, so it isn't like they are standing still or only have 'old games' on their site.
Finally, I LOVE how people assume that businesses need to grow to survive. Businesses just need enough income to pay their expenses, so as long as income is able to meet those expenses, whether they make 5 Mill a year or 500 Mil a year, in the black is in the black. As for Steam asking their loyal customers to recruit others, well A GOOD NUMBER of businesses do that. Not a new concept, and if it brings you ANY new customers, well you are stupid not to take advantage of those customers that are more than happy to cheerlead for you. Referrals are a huge part of any service/retail business, as your friend/neighbor/family member's opinion of someone you are thinking of doing business with is important.
Plus, getting new customers to offset customer attrition is also important. Customers move on for a lot of reasons in Gaming (newborn kid to support, lose interest in gaming, etc.). So in short, I'm not worried about GOG going anywhere. I'm sure they are doing fine, and are just looking to maximize their customer base so they can make even more money, which is pretty much what any retail business does.
As a separate example, Newegg LIVES QUITE WELL on happy customers, and the referrals given by those customers. I'm a fairly loyal Newegg customer, but it took a LOT of coaxing to get me to take that leap of faith. There are many examples of people getting scammed/poor customer service on the 'net. If several online buddies had not told me about Newegg, I probably would never have done business with them, but now they are one of the first places I check when looking at hardware upgrades.
Watching Newegg give the slapdown to Patent Trolls is just a bonus...
GOG is just doing the same thing IMHO, just in a more overt fashion. And if their happy customers bring them even more potential happy customers, good for them!