From my experience after experience working on several projects with distributed and remote teams. I came to the concussion that the friction in distributed working is high and there is no better way to solve this than agile retrospective.
The first step to creating a Sass product like Retroly is to research, understand the landscape and expectation users. The visual approach in Retroly is create and extremely easy to use interface and give a polished look for the app even as MVP.
To ensure we have a flexible design, I stated with designing a design system which contain the Retroly foundation and components. This was very uses as we understand the problem space better we were able to quickly redesign pages while keeping to the visual style
Using the lean frame work I was able to work with a team of 2 developers, I constantly get user feedback to improve to set the most import features to build.