A big thank you: From me, to you

It’s funny how things go. Growing up as a kid, we aspire to be something one day. Well, life has a knack of changing things unexpectedly – such as the case with my journey to where I’m at today. Never would I have thought of growing up to becoming a “reviewer,” but reality tells me otherwise, as it’s been my profession for the better part of the last 7 years. Actually, it’s closer to 7.5 years at this point, but I’ll just say 7 full years.

Back 7.5 years ago, I was working at my desk as a retail manager at a popular consumer electronics store when I came across an advertisement seeking out a reviewer that’s based out of the greater New York City area. I thought about it for quite some time, but didn’t initially feel compelled to apply because I was comfortable in my then current position. After sleeping on it, I filled out an application and sent my resume, just to see what may come of it.

Of course, I was utterly shocked by an email response later in the week – just because it seemed too good to be true. Considering the pool of applications they were getting in, I really thought it was unlikely that my application would even be seen by someone (or acknowledged), but it did! And to my delight, I was given a formal job offer to take up the position after writing up samples posts, and even a short review of one of the many phones I was using at the time. Hard to believe it, that phone turned out to be the Sony Ericsson W580i, which was part of the Walkman series.

Fast forward to the present, I still find it tough sometimes to rationalize that I’m doing something that I truly love. Most people would think of it as nothing more than a job, but for me, it’s a passion that has never burned out – and it’s that fuel that has helped me to develop into the person who I am today. Yes, there were times when I thought whether or not this ‘gig’ was going to be sustainable, but with each year that I managed to get under my belt, along with committing to doing it full-time after 2 years on the job, I never looked back.

I think it’s the challenge that has always driven me to doing my best. Looking back on my first review, it’s almost unbelievable for me to even fathom that was me. Trust me, watching my first video is still cringe worthy to this day, however, as time went on, I managed to adapt to the changes to better my talents. Back in 2008, the landscape was a vastly different one than what we have today. It was the era before YouTube’s unrelenting invasion into our consciousness. Throughout it all, I was able to adapt to the changes that came along with the challenges.

And that same desire for challenge is what’s propelling me toward my next journey. When you’re part of a family for so long, it’s never easy to say you’re leaving….but that’s exactly what’s happening.

I’ve been grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way resulting from my time with PhoneArena. Not only did I get a chance to visit places I’ve never been, as well as checking out all the cool tech gear, but I even got the chance to meet many amazing people too along the way – who I consider friends, and even family. The memories I’ve made during my time with PhoneArena have been invaluable, something I deeply cherish and will proudly continue to share. So, it’s tough for me to say that I’m leaving at the end of the month.

Between now and then, I’m going to take the time to reflect back on my time with PhoneArena, and share some of my favorite things. Before that last, official day comes, I’d like to take the time to thank some important folks who impacted my life tremendously.

  • First and foremost, Pressian Karakostov, founder of PhoneArena, who gave me the opportunity to pursue this thing called my passion. Without that, none of this would’ve been possible.

  • Shout out to one of my many mentors, Nanko Rusev, who trained me from the start in getting me up to shape with PhoneArena’s process. Those first few reviews done by me were painstakingly brutal, but with his help throughout the years, we’ve perfected the process together to where we’re at now.

  • Ray, Nick, Chris, Vic, Daniel, and all the other many reviewers, writers, and editors in the office overseas that I’ve worked with over the years. We collectively brought PhoneArena to where it is now, so I can’t thank them all for their help and support.

  • Alan, Michael, Maxwell, Sam, Brian, and the rest of the current and past PhoneArena US-based folks, it’s been wonderful getting to know you throughout the years. Some I’ve met in real life, others I have yet to see, but regardless, they’ve all had an impact on me.

  • Michael Oryl, founder and former editor-in-chief of Mobileburn, who I met at my very first event in New York City. He may no longer be in the industry, but his friendship and mentorship during the early days have been invaluable.

  • Orhan Chakarov, who I attribute in developing my photo and video skills. From the early lightbox days, to how videos and photos are done now, I’ve come a long way to perfect my form. His commitment to perfection in how to capture content is a true work of art.

  • And lastly, you. Yes, you. The readers and fans, who helped propel my desire to strive for the best. Without you, the fans, all of this wouldn’t have been possible. I get to do what I truly love, am passionate about, so I have to thank you for making my passion a reality each and every day.

So, what’s next? For now, you’ll continue to see my presence on various projects I’ve been working on for the site, so I’m not leaving just yet. Come the end of the month, however, my journey will be at its end. Leaving something you love, have nurtured for a long time, is never an easy thing to do without reflecting how much it's become a part of you. It’s very much like watching that last episode of your favorite television show. You know that after that, there won’t be anything else.

Obviously, my presence on the Internets will still be there, as it’s always been. Don’t be a stranger, I’m always up for a good conversation – especially when pints of beer are involved, of course. This journey has been nothing short of extraordinary, so with that, I’ll leave it by saying I’ll see you in another life.

Follow me on Twitter , Google+Instagram



2. bonsly164

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 02, 2014

Best wishes and good luck!

38. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

G.O.A.T Reviewer at PA, leaving? :( sad to see, but I always loved your reviews man. Keep what your future lies ahead of you, and best of luck!

61. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Ohh my the end of an era... I am going to be sad to not hear the classic: It's Joooooooooooooooooooohn V. from PhoneArena. lol Best of luck with everything you decide to do. I always enjoyed your reviews. You always to me at least, seemed like a decent guy. What cemented the fact that not only are you a decent guy but a really good guy is your second to last line on your farewell speech... "Don’t be a stranger, I’m always up for a good conversation – especially when pints of beer are involved, of course." Kudos to you, and let me be the first to give you that standing ovation. Thank you John V.

77. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

So true. Its like Michael Buffer, ring announcer or Mills Lane, ref Gonna miss that.

92. sharks

Posts: 236; Member since: Feb 16, 2013

It's finally confirmed. Johhhhhn Veeeee is an asian-african. I always had this itch to know about his race when watching his annoying videos and also how asian-africans look.

80. MSi_GS70 unregistered

and STOP using iphne and start using android maybe now there will be higher ranking for android phones and less for iphone..

110. Marienx

Posts: 120; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

and he is back...

3. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

Congrats. Hope your move is successful. You had an awesome job. One that I would love to have for a while. Unfortunately, I'm nowhere near NY. All good things.... "Don't feel guilty if you don't know what to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the MOST interesting 40 year-olds I know still don't"

13. John.V

Posts: 99; Member since: May 27, 2011

20. DurTeeDee

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 05, 2014

I feel like Micheal Fisher of pocket now may show up

21. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

Nope. I don't think so. I think he wishes to work on his own. I read that it one of his reply tweets

26. S-R-K

Posts: 304; Member since: Mar 15, 2016

I really like him.

39. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Did he leave? I heavily doubt that lol.

28. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

Best wishes, John! You rock, man!

58. Tanujtiwari

Posts: 84; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

Will miss u JOOHHHHNNNNN V (NOT) FROM PHONEARENA....will miss u

4. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

John V. Thought I did not agree with many of your reviews and and write ups( and some you did hit right on the head) I wish you the best in your new endeavors in life. Thank you for your love and passion for mobile technology and shining a light on it for the rest of us tech heads. Thanks again

5. Ray.S

Posts: 457; Member since: Jul 19, 2011

On behalf of the whole team here, I'd like to say a grand THANK YOU to the charismatic John V. for all the hard work he did for PhoneArena. John, we wish you luck and great success in all your future adventures!

16. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

:( Don't be a stranger, Johnnie boy!

29. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

Hahaha Chris! +1

53. Ashoaib

Posts: 3282; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Chris you are always interesting... I hope you are not leaving... wish you best of luck John... Now I know why PA is hiring, because the great John has paved the way for some one new to take the role and groom his skills...

63. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Ray.S, It looks like you are next. Ready to be the top reviewer of PhoneArena.com? The title is yours to take now!!! Looking forward to all your future reviews... +1

6. yoosufmuneer

Posts: 1518; Member since: Feb 14, 2015

Honestly, I hate when reviewers leave. Whats up with this month? First Micheal Fisher (my favourite reviewer ever) left Pocketnow and now this guy leaves. Anyway I wish John the best.

25. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

seriously? micheal leaves pocketnow?one of my fave reviewer also..

30. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

It's really sad, man!

50. cncrim

Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Micheal Fisher is one of my favorite reviiwer. I have a feeling these reviewer getting bore with smartphone, it is kind stagnant last 3 or show. Even me as gadgets enthusiasm found any OEM from s4 or i5s era is good enough for day to day use and still good many years to come. Idk, maybe it just me.

7. cncrim

Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Good journey

9. shy2papa

Posts: 336; Member since: Jan 23, 2010

Say it isn't so :( gonna miss his articles on everything tech

14. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

15. XDAdam

Posts: 276; Member since: Feb 03, 2016

This smells like there is something underlying here, as in something happened behind the scenes. Whatever the reason may be, thanks for all your dedication and hard work to this site.

17. bucky

Posts: 3784; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

All the best John. I've been reading your work since 2009 and it's helped me through many boring days at work!

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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