As a recent video showed (thanks Geoff) even if I'm one in a million, that means there are 300 people like me here in the States. And 1,600 people like me in China. And 6,000 people like me in the world.
At Sun, there are over 40 people, including myself, with the first name Mark whose last name starts with M. One of them even works on the same project as myself.
So, it was rather vital that, when the OpenID announcement was made today I hop onto the site and grab http://openid.sun.com/markm. Bwa ha ha.
There are certainly benefits and drawbacks to having such a common first name. As my last name, Musante, is rather unusual here in the States, it takes the edge off. Moreover, there's an odd affinity one feels for those who share your name. By coincidence, my best friend in High School was named Mark, but no doubt our initial friendship was helped by our name. It's also fun to tease those with alternate spellings as those of you with Jeff/Geoff, or Neil/Neal, or Erik/Eric names are aware. (The spelling 'Marc' is clearly incorrect. And, although Marcus is fine, Markus is just plain wrong.)
The main drawback is that it's SO common. There are over 370 employees at Sun with the first name Mark, and almost 60 with Marc (see? it's wrong!). So when we named our children, we deliberately picked names that were relatively uncommon, but common enough to offset the unusualness of Musante: Alec, Samantha, Zoë. Only one bloke here at Sun is named Alec (although there is an Aleck too). Only 9 Samanthas, and only 3 Zoë's.